Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

Un traitement-choc pour l’Arabie saoudite

BEYROUTH – L’Arabie saoudite se fie depuis longtemps au pétrole pour alimenter sa croissance et son développement économique. L’année dernière, le pétrole comptait pour environ le trois quarts des recettes totales d’exportation du royaume et environ 90 % des revenus de l’État. Mais l’effondrement récent des cours du pétrole a révélé ce qui aurait dû être évident depuis longtemps : l’Arabie saoudite, comme les autres nations du Proche-Orient riches en pétrole et en gaz naturel, a besoin d’un modèle de développement plus diversifié.

Depuis que les cours pétroliers ont commencé à fléchir au milieu de 2014, l’Arabie saoudite a connu une baisse prononcée de la croissance du PIB, ainsi qu’une plus faible croissance des liquidités et du crédit. Des surplus budgétaires et des comptes courants positifs se sont transformés en déficits. Cette année, les deux déficits devraient atteindre 13 % et 6,4 % du PIB, respectivement.

De plus, malgré la croissance des années précédentes, la véritable richesse nationale du royaume s’est dissipée. La rente pétrolière, comme c’est le cas ailleurs dans la région, n’a pas été transformée efficacement en capital humain, en infrastructures et en capacités d’innovation pour générer la croissance de la productivité et diversifier les activités économiques. Aussi, outre la nécessité de composer avec la « nouvelle normalité » des cours pétroliers, l’Arabie saoudite doit élaborer un modèle économique radicalement nouveau qui s’attaque aux obstacles structurels à la productivité et à la croissance.

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