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Is the oil revenue part of the GDP?
Revenue generated from oil export should not be considered when calculating Saudi’s GDP says former vice president of Saudi Aramco Othman Al-Khowaiter
January 23, 2011 11:25 by Eva Fernandes
Although I am not an expert on economic matters, I find it hard to digest the idea that the revenue generated from oil export should be counted when our GDP is calculated. Any layman knows that GDP of a country is the amount of goods and services produced in that country in a year and it is not right to consider the income from the export of crude without any notable efforts as GDP.
There is, in fact, technically no difference between a financial aid received from another country and the money generated effortlessly for us from the crude oil supplied to foreign markets.
A high level of GDP is, apparently, a matter of pride to the citizens of any country because it reflects their hard work and quality of workmanship.
None of us are blind to the fact that we do not deserve any pride for hard work and productivity because we have, unfortunately, been the least productive society on the earth.
Worse still, a considerable part of our income from services and products does not represent our efforts but those of the expatriate work force in the private sector. We are not a productive society at all. In other words, we are a consumer society. It is unreasonable to presume that a rise in the price of crude oil is a growth in the GDP.
We all welcomed with jubilation and optimism the historic budget for 2011, which underpinned technical education and applied studies and research in the field of renewable energy and water desalination technology. On the other hand, we have realized that more income from oil means a growing tendency on our part to depend on others. Our focus must be on developing human resources that alone will make our country self-reliant in everything we want. This would not be achieved by a lifestyle of luxury and imported labor. I would suggest in this context that we conduct special research to discover the reason why many of our students and people have a tendency to turn away from technical and professional fields, which is the only reason why such fields are dominated by expatriate work force. We should also find out the solutions for this aversion.
The low monthly salary paid in the private sector for unskilled jobs is not enough to meet the living standards in our society. This fact should have served as a catalyst to attract our people to undertake tough jobs. The freedom of the private sector to import any number of cheap foreign workers has been a negative influence on our young generation to turn away from challenging fields of work besides being an unreasonable burden on our economy. Our habits pamper our children making them growing up totally depending on domestic workers instead of giving them the opportunity to learn self-reliance. It is high time that we made radical changes in the educational system so that our children grow up with a sense of pride in taking up any job. We should also change our inherited mindset of viewing certain categories of jobs with contempt.
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