Saudi Arabia imports hit $173.8bn in 2014

Top imports include transport machinery and metals, according to statistics

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Saudi Arabia’s total exports in 2014 dropped by 8.9 percent to SR1.28 trillion ($342.28 billion), while imports rose by 3.3 percent to SR651.88bn ($173.8bn), according to fresh statistics.

The value of the kingdom’s oil exports comprised 83 percent of the total value of exports at SR1.066 trillion, a report by the Saudi Central Department of Statistics and Information revealed.

The value of chemical industries’ exports reached SR73.943bn (5.6 percent of the total) and plastic and rubber products with SR71.126bn (5.5 percent).

According to the report, the kingdom’s imports in 2014 hit SR651.9bn, as against SR630.6bn in 2013, up by 3.4 percent or SAR21.3bn.

Machinery and electrical appliances were Saudi Arabia’s top imports with their value standing at SR171.012bn, comprising 26.2 percent of the total value of imports.

Other top imports include transport machinery (SR108.610bn or 16.6 percent of the total) and metals (SR79.759bn or 12.2 percent), the figures indicate.

The US was Saudi Arabia’s top exports’ destination. The country accounted for 12.6 per cent of the kingdom’s exports, followed by China (12.5 percent) and Japan (12.2 percent).

China accounted for the largest proportion of Saudi Arabia’s imports at 13.6 percent of the Arab nation’s total imports, followed by the USA (13 percent) and Germany (7.2 percent).

Meanwhile, "Saudi Arabia Biometric Systems Market Forecast and Opportunities, 2020" report noted that the Kingdom’s biometric systems market is projected to grow at over 22% CAGR through 2020.

The high growth is attributed to the surging demand for better biometric technologies in the country, from government, BFSI, consumer electronics, and energy (specifically oil & gas) sectors. Further, use of biometric mobile applications is a major trend emerging in Saudi Arabia biometric systems market, aimed at providing a more secure environment for e-commerce and mobile banking.

Saudi Arabia biometric systems market is one of the fastest growing markets in the Middle East. Growing need for authentication & verification, and government regulations & initiatives mandating use of biometric technologies are the key factors driving biometric systems market in the country.

Expanding use of multi-modal biometric systems, adoption of new technologies, and anticipated decline in average selling prices, are projected to further escalate the demand for biometric devices over the forecast period.

Saudi Arabia biometric systems market, which includes manufacturing and supply of biometric devices, is majorly dominated by global players, such as Morpho Safran, ZK Technlogy, and Suprema, among others.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on May 28, 2015.

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