SAGIA: US investment in Saudi Arabia worth over $55bn

SAGIA signs Cooperative Agreement with US Chamber of Commerce to promote trade and economic cooperation between Saudi Arabia and US. (Photo SAGIA/file)
Updated 22 March 2018

SAGIA: US investment in Saudi Arabia worth over $55bn

RIYADH: The US invested more than SR207 billion ($55 billion) in the Kingdom up until February 2018, according to the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
The number of investing companies reached 373 in fields such as services, industry, real-estate, science, arts, and temporary licenses.
Industrial activity had the biggest share of financing with SR193 billion ($51 billion) distributed on 95 different projects. Service activity was financed with SR13.5 billion ($3 billion) distributed on 245 projects. Trade activity was financed with more than SR300 million ($79 million) distributed on nine projects. Two real-estate projects were financed with SR16 million ($4 million) and 16 temporary licenses’ projects were financed with SR2 million ($0.5 million.)
Sixteen new American companies entered the Saudi market in 2017, with SR382 million ($101 million) invested as SAGIA gave the green light to start activities in the Kingdom. The service sector had the biggest share of these licenses, with 13 licenses and an investment of SR 284 million ($155 million). The industrial sector was granted two licenses of an investment that reached SR97 million ($25 million) and the temporary licenses’ sector was financed with SR500,000 ($133,000).
The Saudi sector is one of the US’s biggest importing markets. In 2016, the Kingdom provided the US market with a number of products including mineral, chemical and organic products, fertilizers, aluminum and plastics. From the US, the Kingdom imported cars and their parts, aerial vehicles and their parts, medical, optical and photographic equipment, machine tools and their parts and electronic devices and their parts.
The numbers are a result of the reforms in the Saudi investment environment, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, while the reforms are a result of national efforts to promote trade and investment activities in the Kingdom. The executive committee was established to improve and promote performance in the private sector to follow up and implement a number of initiatives contributing to economic growth and providing a stable environment for the private sector, with the participation of relevant governmental, private and international bodies.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the US have good economic ties that go back many decades and are bound by mutual respect and common interests. These relations were established on Feb. 23, 1930, and consolidated in 1931 when the US first started importing Saudi oil, and when the late King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman granted American companies the right to prospect for oil.
In 1932, the two sides signed the temporary commercial diplomatic agreement that was followed by an oil exploration agreement.
In 1972, the Kingdom imported from the US a number of goods and products with a value of $314 million and exported other goods to the US with a value of $194 million.
In 1974, the Kingdom signed a joint report with the US, to establish a Saudi-American joint committee for economic cooperation to meet the needs of the country (products and expertise) at a time when Saudi Arabia was witnessing a big increase in growth and development projects.

Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

Updated 20 October 2019

Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

  • Development will protect endangered hawksbill turtle, while coral research could help save the Great Barrier Reef

RIYADH: Key ecological targets are driving Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea tourism megaproject, its leader has told Arab News.

The development will not only protect the habitat of the endangered hawksbill turtle, but could also save coral reefs that are dying elsewhere in the world, said Red Sea Development Company Chief Executive John Pagano.

The project is taking shape in a 28,000 square kilometer region of lagoons, archipelagos, canyons and volcanic geology between the small towns of Al-Wajh and Umluj on the Kingdom’s west coast.

One island, Al-Waqqadi, looked like the perfect tourism destination, but was discovered to be a breeding ground for the hawksbill. “In the end, we said we’re not going to develop it. It shows you can balance development and conservation,” Pagano said.

Scientists are also working to explain why the area’s coral reef system — fourth-largest in the world —  is thriving when others around the world are endangered.

“To the extent we solve that mystery, the ambition would be to export that to the rest of the world,” Pagano said. “Can we help save the Great Barrier Reef or the Caribbean coral that has been severely damaged?”


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