SHARIF M. TAHA
Published — Thursday 23 August 2012
Last update 23 August 2012 4:31 pm
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is predicted to lead growth in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region’s infrastructure and construction spending over the next 15 years, a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch said.
The infrastructure and construction market in the MENA region is among the worlds’ most attractive due to its size.
A total of $4.3 trillion will be invested in construction projects across the MENA region by 2020, an increase of 80 percent compared with current figures.
Saudi Arabia is expected to take the lead in regional infrastructure spending and construction projects as it responds positively to pressing social needs such as labor, housing and education.
The recent approval of the mortgage law will help drive growth in residential construction in response to the current housing shortage.
The construction and infrastructure sub-sectors in Saudi Arabia grew by 177 percent compared to last year and currently account for 46 percent of the 2012-2013 MENA project pipeline totaling $448 billion, according to the report.
“With its young and expanding population, Saudi Arabia should remain the most buoyant market, in line with its overall economic development plan,” the report said.
The MENA region is expected to account for 12 percent of global emerging markets and 4.4 percent of world construction markets within the next decade. Saudi Arabia is expected to continue to lead the way.