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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Arabian Peninsula. It occupies an area about the size of the United States east of the Mississippi River. Saudi Arabia’s population is 27 million, including 8.4 million foreign residents (2010 census), and its capital city is Riyadh.Saudi Arabia’s geography is diverse, with forests, grasslands, mountain ranges and deserts. The climate varies from region to region. Temperatures can reach over 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the desert in the summer, while in the winter temperatures in the north and central parts of the country can drop below freezing.

Saudi Arabia gets very little rain, only about four inches a year on average. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a country situated in Southwest Asia, the largest country of Arabia, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen. Its extensive coastlines on the Persian Gulf and Red Sea provide great leverage onshipping (especially crude oil) through the Persian Gulf and Suez Canal. The kingdom occupies 80% of the Arabian Peninsula. Most of the country's boundaries with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, and the Republic of Yemen(formerly two separate countries: the Yemen Arab Republic or North Yemen; and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemenor South Yemen) are undefined, so the exact size of the country remains unknown.

The Saudi government estimate is at 2,217,949 square kilometres, while other reputable estimates vary between 2,149,690 and 2,240,000 sq. kilometres. Less than 1% of the total area is suitable for cultivation, and in the early 1990s, population distribution varied greatly among the towns of the eastern and western coastal areas, the densely populated interior oases, and the vast, almost empty deserts. Saudi oil reserves are the second largest in the world, and Saudi Arabia is the world's leading oil exporter and second largest producer. Proven reserves, according to figures provided by the Saudi government, are estimated to be 260 billion barrels (41 km3), about one-quarter of world oil reserves. Petroleum in Saudi Arabia is not only plentiful but under pressure and close to the earth's surface. This makes it far cheaper and thus far more profitable to extract petroleum in Saudi Arabia than in many other places.[18] The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 92.5% of Saudi budget revenues,[17] 97% of export earnings, and 55% of GDP.Another 40% of GDP comes from the private sector. An estimated 7.5 (2013) million foreigners work legally in Saudi Arabia,[19]playing a crucial role in the Saudi economy, for example, in the oil and service sectors.The R&D discourse, for Saudi Arabia in particular, and the developing world in general, inevitably follows the same path. The discourse commences with a brief introduction on what is R&D, then certain statistics are cited to demonstrate how little we are spending on R&D compared to others, and concludes by enumerating examples of successful R&D initiatives and/or bodies.

The discourse hereon shall vary only in the latter part, where no enumeration of how others have done it or are doing it, but attempts to look at the issue from a Saudi point of view, if ever one can talk of Saudi R&D.In general, R&D activities are conducted by specialized units or centers belonging to state agencies, universities and companies. The top eight spenders in 2011, in terms of percentage of GDP, were Israel (4.2%), Japan (3.3%), Sweden (3.3%), Finland (3.1%), South Korea (3.0%), United States (2.7%), Austria (2.5%), and Denmark (2.4%). Comparing the numbers above to the year 2008, we find that the top eight spenders then were Israel (4.53%), Sweden (3.73%), Finland (3.45%) Japan (3.39%), South Korea (3.23%), Switzerland (2.9%), Iceland (2.78%) and United States (2.62%). By contrast, Saudi Arabia’s R&D spending was 0.05% of the GDP in 2007 indicating a prevalence of initiation of 91.6%. Initiation of breastfeeding was delayed beyond 6 hours after birth in 28.1% of the infants. Bottle feeding was introduced by 1 month of age to 2174/4260 (51.4%) and to 3831/4260 (90%) by 6 months of age. The majority of infants 3870/4787 (80.8%) were introduced to "solid foods" between 4 to 6 months of age and whole milk feedings were given to 40% of children younger than 12 months of age.The current practice of feeding of Saudi infants is very far from compliance with even the most conservative WHO recommendations of exclusive breastfeeding for 4 to 6 months. The high prevalence of breastfeeding initiation at birth indicates the willingness of Saudi mothers to breastfeed. However, early introduction of complementary feedings reduced the period of exclusive breastfeeding. Research in infant nutrition should be a public health priority to improve the rate of breastfeeding and to minimize other inappropriate practices.