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The World Invests in Saudi Arabia Despite Campaigns

The World Invests in Saudi Arabia Despite Campaigns

Wednesday, 24 October, 2018 - 07:00
Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

At a time when countries of the world are fighting to enter into economic partnerships and are searching to attract international investments at any price, and amidst a world full of tensions and political and economic fluctuations, an announcement was made during the first hours of the Future Investment Initiative conference, which kicked off in Riyadh on Tuesday, that the Kingdom has signed agreements worth more than $50 billion in the sectors of oil and gas, industries and infrastructure, with international companies such as Trafigura, Hyundai, Total Norinco, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Baker Hughes, and others.


These international companies would not have decided to engage in investment partnerships with Saudi Arabia, had it not been for their belief that there are great opportunities ahead. They did not hesitate to seize the opportunity out of their certainty that the Saudi investment climate is tempting and attractive. The train of the Saudi Public Investment Fund has become a major investment address globally, with countries, companies and international banks looking to ride in one of its vehicles.


Despite all the transformations we are experiencing in the region, the Saudi economy proves every time that it can absorb any political or economic condition whatsoever. Those, who do not invest in Saudi Arabia today, will not find the same opportunity shortly after. With all the campaigns of distortion that Saudi Arabia has experienced in the last three weeks, and attempts to pressure investors and others to go back on their willingness to invest in the Kingdom, commercial interests have prevailed, and previous experiences have proved the ability of the Saudi economy to meet all challenges.


Where will investors find a fertile ground to achieve their investment goals like the Kingdom, which is a G-20 member state, the largest and most successful economy in the Middle East and North Africa, and whose oil supplies account for about a fifth of the world’s reserves? It also contributes to 38 percent of Arab countries’ GDP and aims to increase the size of its investment fund in 2030 to SR 2 trillion, while boosting the Fund’s international investments to 50 percent, and above all, it enjoys a strategic geographic location at the crossroads between Europe, Asia, Africa and the Indian subcontinent. Is there any country in the world like Saudi Arabia or even similar to it?!


Today, the opportunity is present and the doors are wide open to invest in Saudi Arabia, and those, who do not grab this opportunity now, will later be the biggest losers. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, CEO of Mashreq Bank, said in an interview with Al Arabiya television on Tuesday that those, who do not invest in Saudi Arabia over the next three years, will miss the train.

Investors come from all corners of the world with their accumulated money, looking for an opportunity here or there; but an investment partnership with a state that has all the ingredients of success is rare in today’s world.


Despite Khashoggi’s case, with all dramatic leaks and frenzied attempts of escalation, one economic event in Saudi Arabia has disabled all efforts to make it a failure and proved that attacks against the Kingdom were nothing but a harsh media campaign that plotters intended to turn into a permanent political crisis. Even those investors, who were horribly pressured, absorbed the shock, and soon returned to look for their business interests.

As for those who missed the conference, they were surprised by the fact that senior political leaders, such as the King of Jordan, the prime ministers of Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon, and the Crown Prince of Bahrain, insisted on attending. The presence of senior officials at the conference gave more impetus than any apologies that had lost their relevance.


The $50 billion does not only represent investments that any country dreams of, but also a straightforward message to all attempts to distort the image of the Kingdom. Crises come and go; rational states alone are able to deal with them and overcome them swiftly.

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