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Saudi Arabia: 20% Rise in Foreign Investment Licenses in Q1 2020

Saudi Arabia: 20% Rise in Foreign Investment Licenses in Q1 2020

Friday, 22 May, 2020 - 09:00
A view shows the construction of the King Abdullah Financial District, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 11, 2016. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/File Photo

Saudi Arabia has seen an increase in the number of licensed foreign investors in the first quarter of 2020, despite the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This confirms that the Saudi economy is solid and a safe environment for foreign investment.

The Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) issued 348 foreign investor licenses in Q1 of 2020, marking a 19 percent increase from the same period in 2019 and a 20 percent increase from the previous quarter.

The data shows that there was a slowdown in growth in March as global markets reacted to the spread of the coronavirus.

MISA indicated in the quarterly investment report that the emerging sectors received the largest share of foreign licenses, as the education, financial services, and housing sectors increased quarterly by 57 percent, followed by the manufacturing, communications technology and information technology sectors, while India, the United States, Lebanon, and the United Kingdom topped the list of new foreign investments in the Saudi market.

Economists confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the high volume of licenses for investment during the pandemic confirms that Saudi Arabia attracts investors and offers them many opportunities.

Minister of Investment Khalid al-Falih indicated that the Kingdom, since the beginning of the pandemic, has made a decision based on a principle, namely that human life and safety come first, that it rejects trading human life with any other material objectives.

The minister pointed out that MISA dealt quickly to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on investors by establishing a COVID-19 response center to be a reference for all investors and help them overcome challenges.

More than 7,000 local and international investors were contacted to meet their needs and ensure the survival of their businesses in the best way possible, he said.

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