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FDI Diversity Strengthens Saudi Competitiveness, Says Study Report

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 17, 2012 --( A study conducted by King Abdullah Research and Consulting Institute has hailed Saudi Arabia’s success in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) from more than 50 countries, pointing out that the diversity of investments has strengthened the Kingdom’s competitiveness in the global economy.

The study report in Arabic, titled “Economic Reforms in Saudi Arabia” and citing the 10X10 initiative of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) as a case study, was finalized in November 2011. It noted that the World Economic Forum annual report now ranks the Kingdom 17th among the most competitive countries.

The report stressed that Saudi Arabia’s domestic and foreign investment climate has improved tremendously in recent years because of economic reforms and initiatives taken by SAGIA, and the key issue is to provide more investment opportunities. The Kingdom’s political and economic stability and security, and level of economic and social development indicate that the investment climate is competitive, but the real challenge is to find the right investment opportunities that will diversify the economy and result in creation of jobs.

The study pointed out that the Kingdom’s economy remained strong in the face of global economic uncertainties over the past three years. Well conceived financial policies and the continuous improvement in the investment environment contributed to the Kingdom’s economic growth.

The improved investment climate resulted in boosting the average size of foreign investment to $25 billion annually between 2005 and 2010. Before that the average of this investment in the period between 1994-2004 was approximately $ 475 million annually.

The report also cited comments from foreign governments that appreciated the improved investment climate in the Kingdom. It quotes Shigeru Nakamura, the Japanese Ambassador to the Kingdom: “The economic relations between Japan and the Kingdom have witnessed rapid growth in recent years. The volume of Japanese investment in Saudi Arabia is up to $ 13 billion.”

Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, invited Malaysian companies to take advantage of investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia because the Saudi economy is seeing rapid change and growth, and is the most competitive among Gulf countries and the region.

SAGIA’s efforts to develop the investment systems and procedures for domestic and foreign investors enhances the Kingdom’s economic standing globally, according to business leaders. The report quotes Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO: "What the World Bank has reported on the ease of investment in the Kingdom confirms the safety of procedures and easy access to the local market, and on the contrary, a company like SABIC faces difficulty in entering foreign markets, where it takes years before obtaining the necessary licenses. The ease of doing business in the Kingdom is a magnet for foreign investment."

The investment diversity in Saudi Arabia will continue to be one of the comparative advantages in the current global economic context. When world business leaders converge in Riyadh from January 21 to 24 for the Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF), Saudi Arabia’s competitiveness in the global economy and its investment climate will be in sharp focus.


For more information about GCF, please go to:

About SAGIA:
The General Authority for Investment was eastablished in 2000 to support the foreign investment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regulations. SAGIA is concerned with attracting foreign investments to the Kingdom and inspiring the competitive environment for the development of the investment climate.

Thanks to the efforts of the SAGIA and the support provided to them by the leadership of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom occupies the eighth rank in the volume of foreign direct investment. It was able to attract investments estimated at 35 billion U.S. dollars in 2009. It is also ranked eleventh in the ranking of countries by facilitating investment according to the World Bank report. It is also included in the top twenty-first in the list of most competitive countries in the world as classified by the Global Competitiveness Forum.

For more information, please contact:
May Bin Dayel
Alef International:
Ibtihal AlSamaraie
Contact Information
The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority
Said Hasanieh
May Bin Dayel

Alef International:
Ibtihal AlSamaraie

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