Saudi Arabia's economic state
Saudi Arabia’s positive trade balance dropped during the economic crisis, recovered thereafter, but has faltered somewhat in the past couple of years. This is likely due to a loss in export income associated with falling crude oil prices in the region. This has affected the economy and is expected to increase the country’s national debt.
As a major oil producer and exporter, on the one hand Saudi Arabia needs to maintain international relations related to the export of its most precious resource, and on the other hand it needs to preserve stability in the region. For the most part, the country has been able to do so. Due to large oil reserves throughout the region, Saudi Arabia’s most important export partners include China, the United States, Japan, South Korea, India and Singapore. As one of the main oil producers worldwide and ranked among the countries with the largest GDP, Saudi Arabia remains one of the key players in the Muslim and Arab world. It is also home to the birthplace of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed, giving the country a special significance. However, as tension rise with Iran, an uneasy relationship based in religion, politics and history, preserving stability in the region and international relations may become a challenge.