Saudi Arabia has attracted $43bn of foreign investment in four years, says official report

In the past four years 493 investments have been made in the Kingdom by 361 foreign firms. Above, cargo containers at Jeddah Islamic Port. (AFP)
Updated 09 February 2019
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Saudi Arabia has attracted $43bn of foreign investment in four years, says official report

  • The economic transformation underway in the Kingdom is set to lure in more foreign investment
  • Benefits include increased technology uptake, more efficient technical and administrative skills, as well as boosting capital and job opportunities

LONDON: Saudi Arabia attracted $43 billion worth of foreign investment between 2013 and 2017, a study by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Riyadh has found.
The 493 investments were made by 361 foreign firms, the study noted, according to the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

 

The economic transformation underway in the Kingdom is set to lure in more foreign investment.
Benefits include increased technology uptake, more efficient technical and administrative skills, as well as boosting capital and job opportunities, according to the study.
It noted that the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan aims to increase foreign investment to 5.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, up from 3.8 percent when the plan was unveiled in 2016.
The National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP), the largest initiative launched under Vision 2030, aims to stimulate investments worth more than $453 billion across four key economic sectors — mining, industry, logistics and energy.

FASTFACTS

The Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan aims to increase foreign investment to 5.7 percent of the country’s GDP.


US wins WTO ruling against China grain import quotas

Updated 19 April 2019
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US wins WTO ruling against China grain import quotas

GENEVA: The United States won a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on Thursday against China’s use of tariff-rate quotas for rice, wheat and corn, which it successfully argued limited market access for US grain exports.
The case, lodged by the Obama administration in late 2016, marked the second US victory in as many months. It came amid US-China trade talks and on the heels of Washington clinching a WTO ruling on China’s price support for grains in March.
A WTO dispute panel ruled on Thursday that under the terms of its 2001 WTO accession, China’s administration of the tariff rate quotas (TRQs) as a whole violated its obligation to administer them on a “transparent, predictable and fair basis.”
TRQs are two-level tariffs, with a limited volume of imports allowed at the lower ‘in-quota’ tariff and subsequent imports charged an “out-of-quota” tariff, which is usually much higher.
The administration of state trading enterprises and non-state enterprises’ portions of TRQs are inconsistent with WTO rules, the panel said.
Australia, Brazil, India, and the European Union were among those reserving their rights in the dispute brought by the world’s largest grain exporter.
In a statement, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue welcomed the decision, saying China’s system “ultimately inhibits TRQs from filling, denying US farmers access to China’s market for grain.”
If China’s TRQs had been fully used, $3.5 billion worth of corn, wheat and rice would have been imported in 2015 alone, it said, citing US Department of Agriculture estimates.
The two WTO rulings would help American farmers “compete on a more level playing field,” the USTR statement said, adding: “The (Trump) Administration will continue to press China to promptly come into compliance with its WTO obligations.”
The latest WTO panel said that the United States had not proven all of its case, failing to show that China had violated its public notice obligation under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in respect to TRQs.
China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on Friday it “regrets” the panel’s decision and that it would “earnestly evaluate” the panel’s report.
China would “handle the matter appropriately in accordance with WTO dispute resolution procedures, actively safeguard the stability of the multilateral trading system and continue to administer the relevant agricultural import tariff quotas in compliance with WTO rules,” it said.
Either side can appeal the ruling within 60 days.