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.


Saudi Grains Organization buys 5k tons of wheat for $2.4m 

Saudi Grains Organization buys 5k tons of wheat for $2.4m 
Updated 18 sec ago

Saudi Grains Organization buys 5k tons of wheat for $2.4m 

Saudi Grains Organization buys 5k tons of wheat for $2.4m 

RIYADH: The Saudi Grains Organization has deposited SR9 million ($2.4 million) to 15 local wheat farmers who supplied quantities allocated for this season.

Purchasing an amount of 5,058 tons, the payment constitutes the fifteenth batch, according to SAGO’s statement. 

It noted that the total amount spent this season so far has reached SR814.6 million.


Saudi banking sector’s assets to reach $1.2tn by 2030, minister says

Saudi banking sector’s assets to reach $1.2tn by 2030, minister says
Updated 18 min 27 sec ago

Saudi banking sector’s assets to reach $1.2tn by 2030, minister says

Saudi banking sector’s assets to reach $1.2tn by 2030, minister says

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s financial sector aims to increase the total assets of the banking sector to over SR4.5 trillion ($1.2 trillion) by 2030, the Kingdom’s Minister of Finance said. 

During his speech on the occasion of the 92nd National Day, Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan added that the total banking assets amounted to SR3.5 trillion by the end of the second quarter of 2022, according to Asharq Alawsat. 

He noted that the growing strength of the Saudi economy reflects the solidness of financial policies, and its ability to adapt in the face of challenges.

He praised the results achieved by the Financial Sector Development Program, the Financial Sustainability Program and the National Center for Privatization Program.

The Financial Sector Development Program has increased the number of bodies that are effective in financial technology to over 120 companies until September 2022, he explained. 

With regards to the Financial Sustainability Program, the minister noted that it contributed to carrying out many structural reforms.

This is in addition to contributing to raising growth and employment rates, and maintaining financial sustainability, through which financial and economic stability would be achieved, he added.

Speaking of the privatization program, Al-Jadaan explained it contributed to strengthening the partnership between the public and private sectors.

He added that the National Center for Privatization Program has contributed to setting the general frameworks for the privatization system. 

In August, Saudi Arabia’s banking sector showed its continuation to outperform its regional counterparts in 2021, with assets growing by a record 10 percent to SR3.3 trillion, according to a report by The Banker.

The Banker’s Top 100 Arab Banks ranking showed that Saudi lenders’ combined Tier 1 capital base is higher than any other country in the region.

The ranking was issued for the year 2022 and data used for the listing pertained to 2021.

While higher oil prices helped economic growth in the Kingdom recover to 3.1 percent in 2021, up from a 4.1 percent contraction the previous year, it is the country’s booming mortgage market — fueled by government initiatives to help Saudi nationals acquire a property — that continues to boost banks’ balance sheets.


ADNOC, TAQA close $3.8bn deal for clean energy, decarbonization

ADNOC, TAQA close $3.8bn deal for clean energy,  decarbonization
Updated 44 min 22 sec ago

ADNOC, TAQA close $3.8bn deal for clean energy, decarbonization

ADNOC, TAQA close $3.8bn deal for clean energy,  decarbonization

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., and Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., known as TAQA, have finalized a deal for the construction of a $3.8-billion strategic project to power and decarbonize ADNOC’s offshore production operations.

According to a statement, a consortium comprising Korea Electric Power,  Kyushu Electric Power Co., and Électricité de France will build, own, operate and transfer its high-voltage direct current sub-sea transmission network in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The statement noted that the KEPCO-led consortium holds a 40 percent stake in the project under a build, own, operate and transfer basis, while ADNOC and TAQA own stakes amounting to 30 percent each. 

According to the statement, the full project will be returned to ADNOC after 35 years of operation. 

The transmission system will have a total installed capacity of 3.2 GW and will comprise two independent subsea HVDC links and converter stations, the statement added. 

The construction of this project is expected to start this year, and commercial operation is expected to commence in 2025. 

“ADNOC has once again demonstrated its ability to successfully structure and close a bold and progressive transaction that will help secure our low-carbon future as we intensify our efforts to decarbonize our operations,” said Sultan Al-Jaber, UAE minister of industry and advanced technology and managing director and group CEO of ADNOC. 

He added: “As the responsible provider of reliable and low-carbon energy, ADNOC will continue to work with our partners to advance practical and commercially viable solutions as the energy transition partner of choice.” 

According to the statement, the development is expected to reduce the carbon footprint of ADNOC’s offshore operations by more than 30 percent. 

The project will replace ADNOC’s existing offshore gas turbine generators with more sustainable power sources available on the Abu Dhabi onshore power network, operated by TAQA’s wholly owned subsidiary, Abu Dhabi Transmission and Despatch Co. 

Mohamed Alsuwaidi, chairman of Taqa, said: “Reaching financial close is an important milestone for this distinctive project, which will see TAQA providing ADNOC offshore facilities with low-carbon energy securely and efficiently through TRANSCO’s power network system.” 

“TAQA continues to showcase how its expertise can be utilized to decarbonize industry through strategic partnerships and bringing value to its stakeholders,” he added. 


Germany seeks to deepen energy ties with Saudi Arabia

Germany seeks to deepen energy ties with Saudi Arabia
Updated 11 min 33 sec ago

Germany seeks to deepen energy ties with Saudi Arabia

Germany seeks to deepen energy ties with Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Saturday after a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that he wants to deepen the energy partnership between the two countries.

Speaking to reporters, Scholz said that the partnership should go beyond fossil fuels to include hydrogen and renewable energies.

Germany, until recently heavily dependent on Russia for gas, has been seeking to diversify its energy supply since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Scholz, on a two-day trip to the Gulf, said he also addressed issues involving human and civil rights in talks with the Crown Prince.

During the meeting, the Crown Prince and Scholz discussed aspects of Saudi-German relations and areas of partnership between the two countries. 

The Crown Prince also discussed prospects of elevating the bilateral relationship with Germany and opportunities for the Kingdom’s development in accordance with Vision 2030. 

After the Saudi Arabian visit, Scholz reached UAE on Saturday night, where he was welcomed by Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, and several officials at the Presidential Terminal of the Abu Dhabi International Airport, news agency WAM reported. 

Scholz said on Sunday that he had seen progress in talks to buy liquefied natural gas and diesel from the UAE. 

The German Chancellor, however, did not provide details on the talks with the UAE. 

“We need to make sure that the production of LNG in the world is advanced to the point where the high demand that exists can be met without having to resort to the production capacity that exists in Russia,” Scholz told reporters. 

Scholz further noted that Germany is determined to never again rely on a single energy supplier. 

He added: “With the investments that we are now making in Germany, and that will become reality bit by bit next year, we will indeed have an infrastructure for gas imports for Germany, such that we are no longer directly dependent on the specific supplier at the other end of the pipeline, as we are with a pipeline connection.” 

Amid these widespread calls to reduce Russian energy imports, Moscow retaliated by reducing gas flows and threatening to shut off all the taps, sending prices soaring and could even raise the possibility of energy rationing in Europe. 

(With inputs from Reuters and AFP) 


Cement producer Qassim signs MoU to acquire Hail Cement

Cement producer Qassim signs MoU to acquire Hail Cement
Updated 25 September 2022

Cement producer Qassim signs MoU to acquire Hail Cement

Cement producer Qassim signs MoU to acquire Hail Cement

RIYADH: Qassim Cement Co. has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Hail Cement Co. regarding a securities exchange transaction, in which the former will acquire all of Hail’s issued shares.

Both parties will therefore proceed with due diligence in connection with the proposed transaction, according to a bourse filing.

Upon completion of the relevant financial evaluation and after consideration of the due diligence, Qassim and Hail will begin discussions on a non-binding exchange ratio.

Hail’s shareholders will receive 0.1933 newly issued shares in Qassim for each share they own in Hail.