New Report Highlights Record High FDI in Saudi Arabia
According to figures from a special report issued by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority for the Summer of 2019, foreign direct investment inﬂows increased by 24% in Q1 2019. In the ﬁrst half of the year, new foreign investor licenses rose by 85% and economic reforms implementation by the National Competitiveness Centre hit 55%.
Major investor deals are being signed and giga-projects continue to move ahead. Investors all over the world are bringing their businesses to the Kingdom, with major new investors in the last quarter from the UK, USA, France, Egypt, China, and India among many others.
On April 24th, Invest Saudi launched VENTURE, a new initiative aimed at attracting global venture capital (VC) ﬁrms to the Kingdom. The platform will provide streamlined licensing processes for VC portfolio companies, including an “instant licensing” service that takes less than 3 hours. Over 25 VCs have already signed agreements under the VENTURE platform, including representatives from the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and Singapore.
In May, business school IMD published their World Competitiveness Yearbook 2019. The report saw Saudi Arabia ranking as the 26th most competitive economy, rising 13 places in the global ranking from last year—the fastest improving country among those assessed.
In the ﬁrst half of 2019, 9 new foreign education companies were awarded investor licenses, amounting to a total of $141 million of investment deals. The private sector currently accounts for only 12.6% of a $37.2bn market, 15.7% of 7.7m students, and 18.3% of 36,461 educational institutions in Saudi Arabia.
On June 26th, the Capital Market Authority announced the removal of the 49% ownership limit for foreign strategic investors in companies listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul). This will allow foreign strategic investors to own controlling stakes in companies listed in the Tadawul, the largest capital market in the MENA region. The move follows four years of profound capital market liberalization, leading to the Tadawul receiving ‘emerging market’ status from leading index providers such as MSCI and FTSE. This inclusion has so far led to an unprecedented injection of $14.4 billion by foreign portfolio investors in the ﬁrst half of 2019.
Saudi Arabia launched the Saudi Seasons initiative earlier this year, with 11 tourism seasons covering each region of the Kingdom. The program includes events and activities speciﬁcally designed to complement the cultural, touristic, and historical touchstones of Saudi Arabia.
The second edition of “Investment Highlights” presents some of the most exciting updates from across Saudi Arabia’s investment environment, as well as updates on the latest opportunities, reforms, and incentives.
In this report:
- New licenses figures
- Top countries of origin
- Top sectors of new investment
- Major projects and opportunities
View the full report here: