RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s industrial sector and small and medium enterprises were among the key beneficiaries of the Kingdom’s National Development Fund which provided over SR30 billion ($8 billion) funding support in the first quarter of 2023.
The funding was allocated through a number of cooperation agreements and financing support for various economic sectors with an aim to achieve the social, economic and cultural goals envisioned in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
This comes after the fund approved over SR135 billion in financing support for 2022, its annual report released in January showed.
The NDF’s quarterly report pointed out that its Saudi Industrial Development Fund approved financing agreements valued at SR875 million with 24 businesses to support the objectives of the National Strategy for Industry.
The report highlighted various achievements, agreements and new initiatives that helped in maximizing the developmental impact on the Saudi economy.
For instance, SIDF signed an agreement with the Kingdom’s Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority, known as Monsha'at, to operate a program titled “How to start your industrial project”
The program aims to empower business owners and facilitate their employment in the industrial sector by educating, fostering and inspiring young Saudi men and women.
Furthermore, the SIDF backed more than 100 beneficiaries via academic and advisory programs in the first three months of the year.
In support of the Kingdom’s tourism sector, the Tourism Development Fund also agreed to provide SR260 million in financing for 11 businesses in the sector during that period.
The tourism funding was provided to 57 beneficiaries spread over 11 businesses through its pre-financing counseling and logistical support programs, stated the report.
Meanwhile, a total of SR16 million in loans and over SR15 million in support were guaranteed by the Cultural Development Fund to finance cultural projects during the first three months of the year.
As for Saudi Arabia’s efforts in advancing its human capital, the Human Resources Development Fund financed over 836,000 individuals and 73,000 enterprises in the first quarter of 2023.
With a value exceeding SR2.2 billion, the funding contributed to employing over 96,000 individuals, and went towards employment support programs, empowerment programs, job search assistance and training.
Additionally, the Small and Medium Enterprises Bank provided over SR1.1 billion in financing to 301 SMEs during the first three months, revealed the report.
In support of Saudi Arabia’s society, the Social Development Bank financed around 9,000 individuals, with a value of SR454 million during that period.
The SDB also supported about 25,000 beneficiaries in freelance, with a value of SR1.5 billion, as well as 3,000 SMEs with a value of SR1.1 billion.
Agricultural and non-oil exports also received financial support as SR2.6 billion worth of funding was provided by the Agricultural Development Fund to over 2,086 individuals and 21 establishments in the first quarter.
During the first same period, the Saudi EXIM Bank also provided credit facilities totaling about SR4.26 billion to support the Kingdom’s non-oil exports.
Furthermore, the Kingdom has been a central contributor to international development aid, providing crucial financial support to numerous nations through its Saudi Fund for Development.