RIYADH — Saudi Arabia is currently preparing a new Zakat Collection Law and Comprehensive Investment Law, Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih announced on Tuesday.
Addressing the second edition of the Municipal Investment Forum (FURAS) at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, Al-Falih said that there are discussions with officials of the General Authority of Zakat & Tax (GAZT) to ensure that the Zakat Collection Law brings in simplified and easier work procedures and transparency for investors.
“Work is being done on the regulations alongside the issuance of the Zakat Collection Law.”
We are also looking at corporate income tax issue and there may be initiatives in this regard that will not be pre-empted,” Al-Falih said.
The minister said that practices and legislation related to taxes and Zakat will be reviewed, as Saudi Arabia has competitive taxation values compared to other countries. He emphasized that the objectives of the law include the financial compensation, fees, taxes, and Zakat to be as clear and low as much as possible.
“The investor will be able to invest capital, effort, and ideas, and obtain a rewarding return that competes with any other country. The investor’s profitability is the most valuable aspect for the ministry to be recycled in the economy,” he pointed out.
Al-Falih stated that work is under way to develop a comprehensive Investment Law, to replace the existing foreign investment law, to protect and clarify the rights of local, foreign, and Gulf investors.
The new law will unify investors as it is in a final review and will be presented to the Shoura Council in the first quarter of 2023, and is likely to be issued by the second quarter to the third quarter after obtaining the approval of the Cabinet, he added.
The minister confirmed that the new law would bring down the Kingdom’s need to enter investor protection agreements with other countries.
Al-Falih also noted that the Law of Real Estate Ownership and Investment by non-Saudis is in its final phases, focusing on opening real estate investment for companies, individuals, residents, and non-residents to own real estate in Saudi Arabia.
“The law is in final review but will not take effect until it is adopted by the Cabinet. During the coming period, the law will be studied in cooperation with the Real Estate General Authority, and a comprehensive review of real estate affairs will take place so as to replace it with a unified law,” he said while hoping that the process may take two to three years.
The volume of investment opportunities in the Kingdom is amounted to SR12.4 trillion, Al-Falih said while quoting the National Investment Strategy. “A large proportion of these investments are within the cities of the Kingdom,” he pointed out.
The minister said that the volume of investment opportunities in the Saudi tourism sector amounts to SR1.1 trillion.
“The volume of investment opportunities in the Saudi public utilities accounted for about SR1.1 trillion, while the volume of investment opportunities in the transport sector stood at SR1.7 trillion,” he added.
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