Great attention is paid to education. In con. 1990s education expenses St. 18% of the budget, the number of schools at all levels exceeded 21,000. In 1999/2000, the number of students in all forms of education was approx. 4.4 million people, and teachers – more than 350 thousand. Education for girls is managed by a special supervisory board, they were approx. 46% of students in ser. 1990s Education is free and open to all citizens, although not compulsory. The university system includes the Islamic University of Medina, the University of Petroleum and Mineral Resources. King Fahd in Dhahran, University. King Abdelaziz in Jeddah, University. King Faisal (having branches in Dammam and El Hofuf), University. Imam Mohammed ibn Saud in Riyadh, Umm el-Kura University in Mecca and the University. King Saud in Riyadh. There are also 83 institutes. A special department is in charge of schools for sick children. In the scientific and technical town. King Abdelaziz conducted research in the field of geodesy, energy, ecology.
According to educationvv, Saudi Arabia is a country with ancient cultural traditions. Many architectural monuments embody Arabic and Islamic fine arts. These are old castles, forts and other monuments in all parts of the country. Among the 12 main museums are the National Museum of Archeology and Folk Heritage, the Al-Masmak Fort Museum in Riyadh. The Saudi Society for Culture and the Arts, with chapters in many cities, organizes art exhibitions and festivals. The art center near Abha hosts exhibitions of local and regional artisans, a library and a theatre. The system of literary clubs and libraries is widely developed. Saudi literature is represented by a wide range of ancient and modern works, poetry (odes, satire and lyrics, religious and social themes) and prose (short story), journalism. Interesting creative festivals. The National Cultural Heritage Festival in Jenadriya, north of Riyadh, brings together local and foreign scholars in the humanities, it involves representatives from all regions of the country, it covers fine arts, folk dances, painting, literature, poetry. The famous camel races are held.
The cultural life is influenced by the Islamic religion. The state has established 210 Islamic cultural centers around the world to explain Islamic culture. Local customs include restraint of behavior, one should not talk to women, except for service personnel. Muslims pray 5 times a day, take off their shoes at the entrance to the mosque. Non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
Modern economic policy is characterized by the participation of the state in the main sectors of the economy and the limitation of the presence of foreign capital. However, with con. 1990s a course is being pursued to simultaneously expand the activity of national private capital, privatization, and stimulate foreign investment. The extraction of oil and gas remains in the hands of the state. Social policy includes the provision of social guarantees for the population, support and subsidies for youth and families. At the current stage, this is combined with the stimulation of training and retraining of national personnel for work in industry and the private sector of the economy.
The country’s monetary system is characterized by the provision of the national currency with the help of foreign exchange earnings from oil exports, and a liberal currency regime. The Monetary Agency controls the circulation of money and the banking system. The independent activity of foreign bank capital is not allowed until now. In a number of joint banks with foreign capital, the controlling stake is national. There are 11 commercial banks and special development banks, as well as funds for financial assistance to Arab countries. Banks operate according to the Islamic system, do not charge or pay a fixed percentage.
The state budget of the country is formed by 75% at the expense of oil export revenues. Taxes to con. 1990s were absent, except for the religious one. In 1995, indirect taxes were estimated at 1,300 million Saudi. rials (less than 0.3% of GDP). A corporate income tax and personal income tax are currently being introduced. The introduction of a value added tax, etc. is being considered. The largest budget expenditure items are: defense and security – 36.7%, human resource development – 24.6%, public administration – 17.4%, health care – approx. 9% (2001). Budget revenues $42 billion, expenditures $54 billion (2002). There is significant domestic debt. External debt is estimated at $23.8 billion (2001). Gross investment – 16.3% of GDP (2000).
The standard of living of the population of the country is relatively high. Average wage in industry $7,863.43 per year (2000).
The country’s trade balance is active. The value of exports is 66.9 billion US dollars, imports are 29.7 billion US dollars. The main export item is oil and oil products (90%). Main export partners: USA (17.4%), Japan (17.3%), South Korea (11.7%), Singapore (5.3%), India. Machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, automobiles, textiles are imported. Main import partners: USA (21.1%), Japan (9.45%), Germany (7.4%), UK (7.3%) (2000).