Skip to main content

R&D potential could be key to spark Saudi economy

The impact of COVID-19 and low oil prices has led to even further expected declines in Saudi Arabia's gross domestic product, but research and development could hold the key to an economic reset.
A billboard displaying an advert for Aramco is pictured in the Saudi capital Riyadh on November 10, 2019. - From robots to sniffer drones, Saudi Aramco has ramped up spending on technological innovation while its rivals cut back amid soft oil prices, but the energy giant risks losing its edge after its much-anticipated IPO. Saudi Arabia is offering a sliver of the company, touted as the kingdom's crown jewel, in its upcoming initial public offering that is the bedrock of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's a

In most countries, research and development (R&D) plays a significant role in sustained economic growth, as it provides a platform for creativity and innovation through the development of new knowledge and job creation.

Yet, many countries undervalue R&D. While some analysts say this is currently the case for a country like Saudi Arabia, there is still hope for the world’s largest oil exporter to transition from being a “rentier state,” or extraction-based economy, to one that leads by example.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.