RIYADH — Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih announced that over 350 international investors have so far obtained license to establish their regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia, most of which will be in Riyadh.

Addressing the Human Capacity Initiative conference in Riyadh on Thursday, he said that many investors have chosen the Kingdom to be a center for their regional headquarters in the future, and a meeting was held a few days ago with international investors who obtained the licenses.

Al-Falih revealed that the number of licenses for international investments in Saudi Arabia has increased from 3,000 at the beginning of the vision to 30,000 business licenses, stressing the Kingdom’s commitment to creating the best conditions for investors to develop skills and learn to enhance innovation and entrepreneurship and to consolidate the growth of the private sector.

The minister pointed out that investors tell us that they want a workforce that possesses the appropriate skills for the present and at the same time is ready to adopt the skills of the future. “They also want advanced research institutions, advanced education, dealing with international partners at a high level, and a productive and effective system, and all of this they want in one place at present, and this is what we are committed to can also be seen in well-established institutions in the Kingdom such as Saudi Aramco and SABIC, in all our banking and financial institutions, and in huge projects such as NEOM,” he said.

Al-Falih pointed out that Vision 2030 is the most comprehensive transformation in the Kingdom’s history. “We are transforming and developing our economy into a green economy and enhancing the business environment and our international competitiveness. By the end of this decade, our economy aims to be two and a half times larger than what it was before the beginning of Vision 2030,” he said while noting that the private sector’s participation in the economy will jump from 40 percent to more than 65 percent and the size of the private sector will be four times higher than that of its current size.

Al-Falih said that during this decade alone, Saudi Arabia will add more than $3 trillion in investments to the economy, and a large share of these investments will be allocated to new economic sectors such as the digital economy, tourism, financial and professional services, healthcare, and agriculture, which are sectors that will provide tremendous opportunities for developing human capital.

The minister emphasized that the world is going through radical structural transformations governed by digital transformation, automation, the transformation of supply chains, new technology and other factors. “It is clear that the effects of this will be huge, and therefore we must prepare for a world with a wide range of possibilities, and with more flexibility to deal with variables, and this will distinguish between winners and losers,” he said.

Al-Falih said that capital goes where the greatest opportunities are, and now more than ever before in history, human capabilities are being strengthened and developed to a greater extent. “The important thing today is skills, not just infrastructure and natural resources, and the most valuable resource is the human element,” he added.

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