Investment Promotion Authority: A major economic reform
Earlier this month, the Saudi Cabinet approved the establishment of the Investment Promotion Authority, which will work to attract national and foreign investment as part of the National Investment Strategy, a major objective of the Kingdom’s economic reform program.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Investment, foreign direct investment rose 9.5 percent in the first quarter of this year to about $2 billion.
Foreign direct investment last year exceeded SR 72.3 billion ($19.3 billion), compared to $20.2 billion in 2020, backed by a $12.4 billion deal for oil giant Aramco to sell a stake in its network of oil pipelines.
The National Investment Strategy will mainly contribute to achieving the goals of Vision 2030, aiming to raise the cumulative value of investments by more than SR 12 trillion by 2030, which will make the Kingdom the 15th largest economy in the world with a gross domestic product of SR 6.4 trillion.
In terms of legal empowerment, it is expected that the Saudi Investment Promotion Authority will collaborate with the Ministry of Investment to gather opinions and prepare proposals for laws, procedures and manuals. It will also build a strong, direct and transparent relationship with investors.
The new authority will help the Ministry of Investment in international cooperation and in attracting consulates and diplomatic commercial representations, facilitating investors’ access to and understanding of laws related to investment in the Kingdom.
It will also help to identify the points of maximum benefit in the sectors the Kingdom is working to develop, such as tourism, by benefiting from successful global experiences.
• Dimah Talal Alsharif is a Saudi legal consultant, head of the health law department at the law firm of Majed Garoub and a member of the International Association of Lawyers. Twitter: @dimah_alshari