Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid al-Falih said on Saturday that foreign direct investment (FDI) increased by 12 percent in the first half of 2020 compared with the same period last year.
The Saudi government, which is hosting the G20 summit on Saturday and Sunday, has made attracting greater foreign investment a cornerstone of its Vision 2030.
"I'm glad to say that FDI, my area of focus, in the first half has been reported to increase by 12% compared to last year," Falih told a G20 media briefing at the International Media Center in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
As part of efforts to attract foreign investors, Saudi Arabia will launch next year special economic zones dedicated to several sectors, he added.
In addition to attracting higher investment volumes, it will focus on "qualitative growth," he said, mentioning areas such as cloud computing, renewable energy, tourism, culture, entertainment, and logistics.
"These investments may have lower investment volumes but higher impact on the economy."
According to al-Falih, the Kingdom’s response to the coronavirus crisis meant it would likely emerge out of the pandemic relatively strongly.
“I like to think that Saudi Arabia is going to be one of the relative winners because of the effectiveness of our governance, the competence of our decision-making, the balanced approach we have taken to dealing with the crisis and managing the right things,” he said.
The leaders of the 20 biggest world economies will debate how to deal with the pandemic that has caused a global recession and how to manage the recovery once it is under control.
Falih said the Saudi economy had shown resilience this year and had a proven ability to withstand shocks.
“We are used to [oil shocks.] We built resilience into our financial system,” he said. “The Kingdom has once again proven its ability to withstand the shocks.”