Saudi Arabia targets $3.3tr of cumulative investments till 2030, says deputy minister

Special Saudi Arabia targets $3.3tr of cumulative investments till 2030, says deputy minister
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Updated 09 August 2022

Saudi Arabia targets $3.3tr of cumulative investments till 2030, says deputy minister

Saudi Arabia targets $3.3tr of cumulative investments till 2030, says deputy minister
  • Saudi Arabia’s regulatory transformation is directly impacting the base economy, Al-Shahrani says

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has enacted over 600 economic reforms since the launch of the Vision 2030 blueprint in a bid to attract SR12.4 trillion ($3.3 trillion) of cumulative investment and SR1.8 trillion in foreign direct investment inflows between 2021 and 2030 as part of the National Investment Strategy, said a deputy minister from the investment ministry. 

Speaking to Arab News, Saad Al-Shahrani, the acting deputy minister for investment promotion in the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia, said the Kingdom achieved an 18 percent increase in foreign direct investment in 2020, even as the global FDI declined by 35 percent due to the pandemic. 

FDI flow in 2021 increased by 257 percent compared to 2020 largely driven by a SR46.5 billion infrastructure deal closed by Aramco with a global investor consortium in Q2 2021.

If Aramco's huge deal is excluded, the Kingdom attracted SR5.3bn in Q2 last year.

Al-Shahrani added that the NIS launched in 2021 is a blueprint for turning the Kingdom into a global hub for business and talent. 




Saad Al-Shahrani

During the interview, the deputy minister revealed that FDI flow in the first quarter of 2022 increased 10 percent to SR7.4 billion compared to the same period last year.

He further stated that NIS helped MISA achieve 49 investment deals valued at SR3.5 billion in the second quarter of 2022, creating 2,000 jobs across industries. 

“These figures are a testament to the sound execution of the government’s strategy and the impact of new reforms, initiatives and investment opportunities,” said the deputy minister. 

He added: “The Kingdom has achieved remarkable progress in many economic and investment indicators, ranking third in Ease of Protecting Minority Investors Index out of 132 countries, for the year 2021.”

Fastest growing among G-20 countries

The deputy minister further noted that the Kingdom achieved the top spot among 22 countries in the May 2022 Ipsos’ Global Consumer Confidence Index. 

Citing the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook 2022, Al-Shahrani said that the Kingdom is now the fastest-growing nation among the Group of 20 countries, with a growth rate of 7.6 percent. 

“Saudi Arabia’s regulatory transformation is directly impacting the base economy. Alongside healthy demand and investor interest in the oil sector, our non-oil economy has shown strong growth,” he added. 

The deputy minister said that flash estimates of real growth in the gross domestic product in the second quarter showed 11.8 percent year-on-year growth, the highest rate since 2011, supported by the growth in real GDP of oil and non-oil activities by 23.1 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively.

Industrial production on the rise

Commenting on the rise in Industrial Production Index, Al-Shahrani said: “The IPI expanded by 24 percent year on year in May 2022, with manufacturing growing by over 28 percent. These figures are a direct consequence of the government’s active diversification efforts.” 

He also asserted that the Kingdom will become one of the world’s most competitive economies and attractive investment destinations by 2030. 

The deputy minister further noted that digital transactions are rising in Saudi Arabia, aligning with the government’s goal of having 70 percent of all transactions are digital by 2025.

“Policymakers have listened to the needs of investors and have responded appropriately to create an investment ecosystem that rivals the best in the world,” he continued.

Saudi Arabia’s future is tourism

The deputy minister further conveyed that tourism will soon become one of the prime drivers of the Saudi economy as the economic diversification effort continues. 

He revealed that the Kingdom has already issued over 3,500 tourism investment licenses, a crucial leap to achieving 10 percent of the national GDP from tourism by 2030. 

Al-Shahrani added that the Kingdom will welcome over 100 million tourists by 2030 and generate one million jobs in the sector. 

“NEOM, The Red Sea Project, AlUla, Soudah, AMAALA and Diriyah Gate are massive opportunities for investors,” he continued. 

The deputy minister further divulged that the Kingdom’s flag carrier SAUDIA will add 94 new destinations to bring visitors to the Kingdom by 2030. 

Apart from tourism, MISA is also signing deals with companies in the renewables, logistics, and pharmaceutical sectors, the deputy minister added. 

“It is quite clear that the headwinds souring global investor appetite are not blowing in the direction of Saudi Arabia. Government strategy, inspired leadership, talent at every level, well-executed reforms and a clear vision for the future have combined to make the Kingdom an investment powerhouse,” Al-Shahrani said.


Third Jordan-Gulf Economic Forum begins in Amman

Third Jordan-Gulf Economic Forum begins in Amman
Updated 17 sec ago

Third Jordan-Gulf Economic Forum begins in Amman

Third Jordan-Gulf Economic Forum begins in Amman
  • Jordanian minister said value of trade between his country and Gulf Cooperation Council member states reached $6.6 billion in 2021

AMMAN: The third session of the Jordan-Gulf Cooperation Council Economic Forum began in Amman on Tuesday. It brings together officials and business representatives from Jordan and GCC member states to discuss opportunities for the expansion and development of economic relations, the Jordan News Agency reported.

The forum, which is taking place under the title New Horizons for Economic and Investment Cooperation, aims to advance the strategic objectives and interests of all participating nations, according to the Jordanian Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply.

The delegates at the two-day event include businessmen, investors, the heads of trade federations and chambers of commerce, and representatives of Gulf and Jordanian government stakeholders, according to the ministry.

In his opening remarks, Youssef Shamali, the Jordanian minister of industry, trade and supply, said that the value of trade between his country and GCC member nations reached $6.6 billion in 2021. Jordanian exports to the GCC were worth $1.7 billion of that total, while Jordan’s imports accounted for $4.9 billion.

The minister added that Gulf nations are responsible for the most significant foreign investments in Jordan, and capital from the region has benefited the nation’s economy and created jobs for the Jordanian people.

He added that if Arab nations were to unite to form a powerful economic bloc, it would allow them to boost exports, increase production, create new job opportunities for young people, and achieve greater integration into the global economy.
 


Oil up $2 per barrel from multi-month low

Oil up $2 per barrel from multi-month low
Updated 27 September 2022

Oil up $2 per barrel from multi-month low

Oil up $2 per barrel from multi-month low

NEW YORK: Oil rose by $2 a barrel on Tuesday from a nine-month low a day earlier, supported by supply curbs in the US Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Ian and a slight softening in the US dollar.
Prices also drew support from analyst expectations of possible supply cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, which meets to set policy on Oct. 5.
Brent crude was up $2.35, or 2.8 percent, to $86.41 a barrel at 10:52 a.m. EDT (1452 GMT). On Monday it fell as low as $83.65, the lowest since January. US West Texas Intermediate  crude was up $2.04, or 2.7 percent, at $78.74.
Crude soared after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, with Brent coming close to its all-time high of $147 in March. Recently, worries about recession, high interest rates and dollar strength have weighed.
“Oil is currently under the influence of financial forces,” said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM. “In the meantime, relief rallies, like the one this morning caused by Hurricane Ian in the US Gulf, are viewed as temporary phenomena.”
The dollar edged back from a 20-year high, which also supported oil. A strong dollar makes crude more expensive for buyers using other currencies.
Supply cuts also lent support. BP and Chevron said on Monday they had shut production at offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Ian approached.
The outages may only provide a momentary reprieve for oil prices, Jim Ritterbusch, of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.
“Outages are apt to prove brief,” Ritterbusch said, adding that the Gulf of Mexico represents “only about 15 percent of total US production amid this shale age” so the effect “is apt to be minimal.”
The oil price drop has raised speculation that OPEC+ could intervene. Iraq’s oil minister on Monday said the group was monitoring prices and did not want a sharp increase or a collapse.


Moody’s assigns stable outlook to PIF-owned firm’s EMTN program

Moody’s assigns stable outlook to PIF-owned firm’s EMTN program
Updated 27 September 2022

Moody’s assigns stable outlook to PIF-owned firm’s EMTN program

Moody’s assigns stable outlook to PIF-owned firm’s EMTN program

RIYADH: Global rating agency Moody’s has assigned the Public Investment Fund-owned GACI First Investment Co.’s EMTN program  a (P) A1 rating.

The euro medium-term note program has been established under the special purpose company incorporated in the Cayman Islands.

The firm has been assigned a stable outlook in line with the stable outlook on existing ratings of PIF.

The rating decision reflects Moody’s view that note holders will effectively be exposed to PIF’s senior unsecured credit risk.

In February, Moody’s Investors Service assigned an A1 long-term issuer rating to the PIF. As one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, PIF is one of the main vehicles to grow the Kingdom’s non-oil economy and reduce its reliance on the hydrocarbon sector.


UAE In-Focus — Hospitality market to expand by 25% by 2030; Dubai to announce hydrogen strategy soon

UAE In-Focus —  Hospitality market to expand by 25% by 2030; Dubai to announce hydrogen strategy soon
Updated 27 September 2022

UAE In-Focus — Hospitality market to expand by 25% by 2030; Dubai to announce hydrogen strategy soon

UAE In-Focus —  Hospitality market to expand by 25% by 2030; Dubai to announce hydrogen strategy soon

DUBAI: The UAE’s hospitality market is set to expand by 25 percent by 2030, with a further 48,000 rooms adding to the nation’s extensive 200,000 key portfolio, according to a study conducted by Knight Frank.

The global property consultancy said in its report that Dubai will account for the lion’s share of these new rooms, with 76 percent coming to the emirate, which already boasts more than 130,000 rooms.

“The emirate has cemented its status as a city with universal appeal, in large part to the world-leading government response to the pandemic and some of the world’s most visited and incredible attractions,” Faisal Durrani, partner and head of Middle East Research at Knight Frank said.

It is estimated that the hotel room supply will cost approximately 117.5 billion dirhams ($32 billion).

Dubai develops hydrogen strategy

Dubai will soon unveil its green hydrogen strategy, MEED reported quoting the managing director of the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority as saying.

Saeed Mohammed Al-Tayer made the revelation at a press conference held to announce the World Green Economy Summit on Sept. 28-29.

Rental market

The Dubai Land Department has signed a memorandum of understanding with Dubai Chambers to enhance the emirate’s rental market’s investment environment, according to Dubai Media Office.

As a result of the MoU, Dubai Chambers will be able to offer real estate and office space to business councils and groups.

It will also facilitate market research and joint training workshops related to the rental sector in Dubai.

In a statement, Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair, chairman of Dubai Chambers, said the partnership complements Dubai Chambers’ 2022-2024 strategy and the ongoing efforts to boost confidence in the real estate sector, which remains a key contributor to the emirate’s economy.

A constructive dialogue between the public and private sectors is essential to Dubai’s sustainable economic growth and development, he said.

 


Saudi Arabia agrees to fund $63m Senegal road project

Saudi Arabia agrees to fund $63m Senegal road project
Updated 27 September 2022

Saudi Arabia agrees to fund $63m Senegal road project

Saudi Arabia agrees to fund $63m Senegal road project

RIYADH: The Saudi Fund for Development is pumping $63 million into a coastal road project in Senegal, it has been announced.

The agreement with the African country will see the construction of a 12 km, two-lane highway in Dakar.

The project will also contribute to raising the level of road safety, meeting the needs of residents of cities and villages, and reducing the rates of injuries and deaths resulting from traffic accidents.

The move is the latest cash injection the Saudi Fund for Development into Senegal, having previously financed 27 loans to contribute to 25 projects and programs, with a value of about $447 million.

It has also awarded grants worth $19 million in the sectors of transportation, transportation, infrastructure, health, housing, urban development, energy, education, water and sanitation.

In August, the Fund signed an agreement with the Cameroonian government to finance the construction of the Mbalmayo Regional Hospital Project, by providing a soft development loan of $12 million.

The agreement was signed by SFD CEO Sultan Al-Marshad, and the Cameroonian Minister of Economy, Planning, and Regional Development, Alamine Ousmane Mey.

The agreement will help to build and equip the hospital with 200 beds and develop specialized medical departments, centers, and buildings spanning a total area of 14,000 sq. meters. 

The development plan also comprises rehabilitating the roads that connect the hospital to the main roads to ensure easy access.