MIAMI — Dr. Saad Al-Shahrani, deputy minister of investment for economic affairs and investment studies, said that the United States of America topped along with China among the G20 countries that bring more investments into Saudi Arabia. “The partnership with China in developing semiconductor chips represents a pivotal step in Saudi Arabia’s journey towards becoming a center for high-tech investments and sustainable economic progress,” he said while addressing the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Priority Summit in Miami in the United States.

The Ministry of Investment is participating in the summit with the purpose of marketing Saudi Arabia as an investment destination globally, and enhancing the attraction of quality investments. He said that the development of local investments is a major driver of the Saudi economy. “The economic performance of the Gulf and Middle East region has made the Kingdom attractive to more foreign investments. What Saudi Arabia has achieved of significant growth over the last three years in terms of local and foreign investments is significant in this respect,” he said.

Dr. Al-Shahrani said that fixed capital formation achieved a growth of 29 percent in the year 2022, and that both the foreign investment stocks and foreign investment flows grew by 16 percent and 20 percent respectively during the same year, with investment indicators expected to register further growth in the year 2023. It is also expected to witness a boom in the issuance of investment licenses in recent years, with about 9,000 licenses being issued during the year 2023, while previously they did not exceed 400 licenses. He noted that there were only about 200 investment opportunities before the launch of the National Investment Strategy. “But today we have about 1,600 investment opportunities in different qualitative sectors and multiple regions in Saudi Arabia through 40 initiatives and four pillars,” he pointed out.

Dr. Al-Shahrani said that the National Investment Strategy indicates Saudi Arabia’s commitment to diversifying its economy and stimulating growth through strategic investments. “Our comprehensive incentives program, including tax exemptions for 30 years, demonstrates Saudi Arabia’s determination to attract and support global investors in key sectors such as manufacturing and technology,” he said.

The deputy minister noted that before Vision 2030, the Saudi economy was heavily dependent on oil. “Out of our recognition of the need for diversification, we are now committed to transforming our economy to become more productive and diversified, and includes sectors such as manufacturing, technology, tourism, sports, entertainment, artificial intelligence, construction, real estate activities, petrochemical industries, and others,” he added.

Around 1,000 investors, business leaders and policy experts from all over the world attended the two-day summit that concluded in Miami on Friday. The summit, held under the theme of ‘On the edge of a new frontier’ dealt with the changing economic, social and political realities, and the issues that are of concern to citizens the world over. Discussions included the digitization of every economic sector, investor outlook, climate tech, the new AI ecosystem, and innovations for better urban environments.

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