RIYADH: The Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources licensed 79 new factories in May, with investments exceeding SR1 billion ($266.5 million), reaching 411 as total number of licenses since the beginning of the year.
The number of industrial facilities across the Kingdom reached 10,638, led by non-metallic minerals with over 2,056 factories, Saudi Press Agency reported.
Rubber and plastics factories followed with 1,346, while food factories reached 1,268.
Making food products accounted for the largest proportion of the total new licenses with 16 licenses, a report by the ministry’s National Industrial Information Center showed.
Small establishments acquired the vast majority of the new industrial licenses during May, with a rate of 92.4 percent, followed by medium enterprises with 6.3 percent.
Large enterprises consisted of 1.3 percent of the new licenses, while national factories acquired new licenses by type of investment by 77 percent, followed by foreign enterprises with 13 percent, and joint investment enterprises with 10 percent.
The ministry's report showed that 62 industrial facilities began actual production in May, with investments of SR1.3 billion.
As many as 32 new industrial licenses were issued in the Saudi capital Riyadh, while 19 were issued in the Eastern region, and 11 in Makkah, the report said.
The eastern region occupied the largest number of factories that started production with 17 factories, followed by Riyadh with 16, and the Asir region with 10 factories.
Number of jobs created by the industrial sector during May reached 2,516, all of them citizens, while more than 19,000 expatriate workers left the sector during the same month, the ministry said.