Saudi Arabia has closed 285 billion Saudi riyals ($76 billion) worth of deals across various sectors in 2022, said Minister of Investment and Chairman of Economic Cities and Special Zones Authority (ECZA), Khalid Al-Falih.

The deals range from auto to ICT, agriculture to aerospace, petrochemicals to mining and renewable energy.

“Special Economic Zones (SEZs) is a cornerstone of the Kingdom’s National Investment Strategy and National Industrial Development and Logistics Strategy,” the Investment Ministry’s tweet said, citing Al-Falih’s speech at the SEZ Investment Forum on Monday. 

“Forward-looking, innovative, and focused on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), our SEZs are purpose-built to maximise opportunities and minimise friction across key industries.”

The minister noted that the Kingdom inspires confidence across multiple social, economic and business indicators - from investor sentiment and trust in government to digital competitiveness, road connectivity, cybersecurity & quality of port operations.

"Globally, we’re seeing SEZs gain renewed relevance as part of a broader ‘Industrial Policy comeback' trend, where large incentive packages and a new generation of SEZs are used to attract FDI in targeted supply chains, Al-Falih said.

In April, Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz announced the launch of four new SEZs in the Kingdom.

The new zones are King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) SEZ, Jazan SEZ, Ras Al Khair SEZ and Cloud Computing SEZ in King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).

(Editing by Seban Scaria