• Short Summary

    A few years ago, the Saudi Arabian town of Riyadh was the centre of a desert wasteland.

  • Description

    GV Oil installations in Saudi Arabia. (4 shots)

    CU Sheikh Yamani (MUTE FOR 6 SECS) then sound starts.

    GV PAN Traffic in street to former palace. (2 shots)

    SV Apartment block and flats under construction. (2 shots)

    SV Workers on site. (7 shots)

    CU Workers assembling steel frame for reinforced concrete.

    SHEIKH YAMANI: "Well Saudi Arabia has a unique case. I think no matter how much we can spend, even if we succeed in spending within the planned limit, I don't think we will be able to spend what we get. We will always accumulate a surplus in Saudi Arabia."

    These are oil installations in Saudi Arabia. Because of its oil, this country is so rich that it can spend an average of 30-billion dollars a year to achieve its ambition of becoming a modern, self-sufficient industrial society. In a world plagued by inflation, Saudi Arabia has difficulty in spending all the money it makes from oil.

    This certainly is the view of Sheikh Ahmed Yamani, the country's oil minister.

    SPEECH ON FILM STARTS: "Well Saudi Arabia has......

    SPEECH ON FILM ENDS: ....a surplus in Saudi Arabia."

    This is the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, a former desert oasis, now a boom town. Its palace is about the only thing that will be spared in the further development of the town. But elsewhere, hundreds of mudbrick houses have been levelled over the past year to make way for luxury apartment houses and high-rise office buildings. With the ever increasing construction work going on in Riyadh, unskilled workers can make up to 25 dollars a day. Land costs more in Riyadh than in central New York or London. Furnished apartments can cost 10-thousand dollars a year to rent, payable in advance.

    What Saudi Arabia is short of is labour. It is anticipated that half a million foreign workers will be needed by 1980 if the country's development plans are to succeed.

    Initials VS 20.35 VS 21.45

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: A few years ago, the Saudi Arabian town of Riyadh was the centre of a desert wasteland. Today --- as part of attempts by the oil-rich kingdom to turn itself into a modern self-sufficient industrial society --- it is becoming a boom town.

    Unskilled workers there can earn 25 US dollars (13 pounds sterling) a day. Land costs more in Riyadh per square metre (yard) than in mid-town New York or in central London.

    Hundreds of mudbrick houses have been levelled over the past year. They have been replaced by luxury apartment houses and high-rise office buildings.

    What Saudi Arabia lacks is labour. Workers from Yemen, Jordan and Egypt do all the construction work. If the Saudi Arabian development plan is to succeed, half a million more foreign workers will have to be brought in by 1980.

    Since the development started the world-wide consumption of oil has dropped. The sluggish state of the international oil market has recently forced Iran --- Saudi Arabia's rival --- to cut back on its own ambitious development spending. But Saudi oil minister Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani says his country does not face this same problem and on the contrary would have problems to spend all of its income.

    This film includes Sheikh Yamani speaking about Saudi Arabia's financial position. A transcript follows:-

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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