Modern corporate building in Saudi Arabia

Le Royaume au-delà du pétrole

RIYAD – Au cours des dernières semaines, le gouvernement de l'Arabie saoudite a entamé un examen de politique stratégique sans précédent qui pourrait avoir des répercussions sur tous les aspects de la vie sociale et économique du pays. Tous les détails devraient être communiqués en janvier, mais il est déjà clair que le Royaume (la dix-neuvième économie mondiale), a désespérément besoin d'une profonde réforme.

Deux raisons rendent ce changement urgent. La première est la chute spectaculaire des cours mondiaux du pétrole, de plus de 100 dollars le baril au milieu de l'année 2014 à moins de 40 dollars aujourd'hui. Avec des exportations de pétrole qui représentent près de 90 % des recettes publiques, la pression sur les finances de l'Arabie saoudite est intense : la balance budgétaire est passée d'un léger excédent en 2013 à un déficit de plus de 21 % du PIB en 2015, d'après les prévisions du Fonds Monétaire International.

La deuxième raison est d'ordre démographique. Au cours des 15 prochaines années, près de 6 millions de jeunes Saoudiens seront en âge de travailler, ce qui va exercer une pression énorme sur le marché du travail et va potentiellement doubler sa taille.

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