Saudi Arabia’s exports to hit almost USD354bn by 2030

18 percent of global corporates already manufacture or source in Saudi Arabia or plan to within the next five to 10 years

Future of Trade 2030: Trends and markets to watch – new research by Standard Chartered – projects that global exports will almost double from USD17.4tn to USD29.7tn over the next decade. The report reveals 13 markets that will drive much of this growth, identifies major corridors, and five trends shaping the future of global trade. Saudi Arabia will be a key driver of this global trade growth, with its exports projected to grow at an average annual rate of 7.6 per cent to reach USD354bn by 2030.

Additionally, the research found that 18 per cent of global corporates currently do or plan source in Saudi Arabia within the next five to 10 years. This is evidence that Saudi Arabia will be a major driver of global trade growth over the next decade.

Future growth corridors

Mainland China and South Korea will continue to be among the largest export corridors for Saudi Arabia, accounting for 20 per cent and 8 per cent of total exports in 2030, respectively.

India is the fastest growing export corridor for Saudi Arabia with an average annual growth rate of 10.9 per cent from 2020 to 2030.

Future growth sectors

Saudi Arabia is reducing its dependence on the petroleum sector and pushing for industry diversification to boost economic growth and attract foreign investments. The following sectors will dominate exports in 2030:

Sector Share of exports (2030) 2020-2030 CAGR
Metals & minerals 80% 8.5%
Plastic & rubbers 7% 8.4%
Chemicals & pharmaceuticals 6% 6%

Global overview: 13 markets driving future trade growth

Market Exports in 2030 (USD) Average annual growth rate Key corridors
Bangladesh 51bn 7% India, UAE, USA
Hong Kong 939bn 5.7% Japan, Mainland China, USA
India 563bn 7.6% Hong Kong, Singapore, USA
Indonesia 347bn 8.1% India, Mainland China, USA
Kenya 10bn 7.7% Pakistan, Uganda, USA
Mainland China 5,022bn 7.1% Germany, Malaysia, Vietnam
Malaysia 498bn 8.3% India, Mainland China, Singapore
Nigeria 112bn 9.7% India, Indonesia, Mainland China
Saudi Arabia 354bn 7.6% India, Mainland China, South Korea
Singapore 687bn 7.4% India, Mainland China, Malaysia
South Korea 971bn 7.1% India, Mainland China, Vietnam
UAE 298bn 6.1% India, Mainland China, Singapore
Vietnam 535bn 7.0% India, Mainland China, USA

The report, commissioned by Standard Chartered and prepared by PwC, is based on an analysis of historical trade data and projections until 2030, as well as insights from a survey of more than 500 C-suite and senior leaders in global companies.

Global trade will be reshaped by five key trends: the wider adoption of sustainable and fair-trade practices; a push for more inclusive participation; greater risk diversification; more digitisation and a rebalancing towards high-growth emerging markets. Almost 90 per cent of the corporate leaders surveyed agreed that these trends will shape the future of trade and will form part of their five to 10-year cross-border expansion strategies.

Globalisation will drive the next decade of growth. Despite the recent push towards onshoring, growth corridors of the future will not just be intraregional – they will be global spanning Africa-East Asia; ASEAN-South Asia; East Asia-Europe; East Asia- Middle East; East Asia-Europe; South Asia-US.

Asia, Africa and the Middle East will see a ramp-up in investment flows, with 82 per cent of respondents saying they are considering new production locations in these regions in the next five to 10 years, supporting the trend towards rebalancing to emerging markets and greater risk diversification of supply chains.

Enabling sustainable supply chains

The research found a significant trend towards the adoption of sustainable trade practices in response to climate concerns and a rising wave of conscious consumerism. However, while almost 90 per cent of corporate leaders acknowledged the need to implement these practices across their supply chains, only 34 per cent ranked it as a ‘top three’ priority for execution over the next five to 10 years.

Standard Chartered, in line with its commitment to help make global trade more sustainable and drive the transition to Net Zero, launched a Sustainable Trade Finance proposition to enable companies to build more sustainable and resilient supply chains. In addition, we offer a suite of sustainable finance solutions to channel capital towards helping companies achieve their Net Zero goals.

Yazaid Al Salloom, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Saudi Arabia, said, “In Saudi Arabia, diversification of export sectors away from oil will be the key driver of its trade performance in the next decade. There is a high-potential opportunity for cross-border growth particularly in India, Mainland China, and South Korea, which are predicted to be the key trade corridors for the nation. Furthermore, sustainability is at the forefront of the nation’s economic transformation, and we expect to see a shift towards adopting more inclusive, sustainable and fair-trade practices that will result in positive environmental and social impact. Against this backdrop, at Standard Chartered, we are continuing to develop and enhance our sustainable finance solutions to help businesses build future ready supply chains.”