Research Briefing | Aug 26, 2021

MENA | Saudi oil exports; GCC travel; Kuwait spending cuts

 Saudi oil exports; GCC travel; Kuwait spending cuts

Oil exports from Saudi Arabia soared to SAR61.5bn in June, a 123% increase from a year earlier, as oil output started to rise and oil prices strengthened. Non-oil exports rose 41%, taking total exports 92% higher than June 2020, when international trade and travel were hit by Covid-19 restrictions.

What you will learn:

  • Saudi Arabia lifted the ban on travel from 20 countries which has been in operation since February to curb the spread of Covid-19. This means that expats can now travel to or transit through the Kingdom from countries including the UAE, the UK and the US. Travel bans have also been lifted for some eligible vaccinated travellers in Oman and Bahrain.
  • After Kuwait’s budget deficit rose to an historic high of KWD10.8bn in 2020 (almost 29% of GDP), state entities have been ordered to cut spending by at least 10% in an effort to plug the widening deficit.
  • There are a number of suggested measures, including a “revision of incentives” for higher government officials.
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