Saudi Arabia learns good lessons from critical pandemic

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Saudi Arabia
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What COVID-19 has given the global economy is a harsh tremble and the condition of Saudi Arabia irrespective of its being a strong economy is no different. The pandemic’s spread has triggered a huge transformation in the shopping pattern of the Kingdom’s consumers like in any other part of the world.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Maghlouth of the Saudi Economic Association says that “the economic recession has already begun and that will influence consumers’ behavior, which, in return, will strongly affect all economic variables.”

The pandemic has made the Saudi shoppers wiser, the consumers are in an attempt to increase their savings rather than spending it on unnecessary purchases. As per experts, Saudi markets and consumers will be seeing a visible price drop in goods and services very soon.

A Saudi shopper shared her experience of how the pandemic has changed her shopping habits. She used to spend a lot of money on buying unnecessary products. But now she is more concerned about her family’s hygiene which made her allocate the money to buy more masks, sanitizers and medical gloves.

In a recent survey conducted by a UK based consultants, Ernst & Young (EY), out of the 1,018 consumers participating from Saudi and UAE, 84 percent of consumers said that they have changed the products they buy by giving focus to value and locally made.

The Saudi government has already started taking measures to confront recession as part of which the country invited the G20 for a virtual global meeting. As per the words of Al-Maghlouth, the meeting reached an agreement in which the oil supply will be reduced in the global market so oil would not be priced at a price other than its real value.

To support the private sector, the government has taken steps that include paying 60 percent of its employees’ salary and a special budget to the private sector with support for anti-coronavirus projects.

Al-Maghlouth also added that the support economy gets from both local and global investors is encouraging foreign and local ventures to start off economic operations and move forward with mega projects for the fulfillment of Saudi Vision 2030.