Al Falih: safeguarding Saudi Arabia’s investment ecosystem

Al Falih: safeguarding Saudi Arabia’s investment ecosystem

Saudi Arabia grants 348 foreign investor licences

June 2020

The Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) has reported 348 new international companies were granted licences to operate in the Saudi market in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 in its latest Investment Highlights report.

This marks a 19 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2019, and a 20 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase from the final three months of 2019. Month-to-month growth began to slow in March as global markets reacted to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In this special edition of the quarterly report, the ministry also charts Saudi Arabia’s national response to the Coronavirus pandemic, alongside the Kingdom’s global response as the holder of the G20 presidency. The report places focus on the measures introduced across the government to support business community and how Saudi Arabia’s local and international investors are playing a leading role in navigating the pandemic’s economic and societal challenges.

Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA), said: “The first quarter of 2020 was Saudi Arabia’s strongest period for investor interest in ten years. However, the economic effects of Covid-19 began to be felt worldwide towards the end of this period, and this becomes evident when we compare the rate of new investment on a month-by-month basis. January and February saw strong momentum, but growth began to slow in March.

“As we look toward a post-Covid-19 future, this is a reassuring show of confidence from the world’s investors in the Kingdom’s long-term prospects as an attractive investment destination.”

Major sources of new foreign investment at the beginning of 2020 continued to represent a diverse range of global markets. As in 2019, growth came from long-standing strategic partners such as the US and UK, with 37 US companies and 32 UK companies awarded licenses in Q1 2020. Quarter-to-quarter sector growth was also seen across a selection of emerging industries, such as ICT, retail and e-commerce, and tourism, culture and entertainment.

“Investors are the most important enablers of Saudi Arabia’s ongoing transformation through Vision 2030, and in recognition of this MISA has been tasked with safeguarding the stability and security of the Kingdom’s full investment ecosystem,” Al Falih continued.

“This is the central aim of our Covid-19 business continuity initiatives. By acting swiftly, MISA has been able to have a direct impact through our Covid-19 Response Center (MCRC). We have spoken to investors about how and where they need support and taken their queries directly to our government partners,” he said.


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