Saudi Arabia has asked investors to maintain environmental and social standards and contribute to social responsibility.
Following the new investment law, Riyadh asserted that new investors must work from their headquarters inside the Kingdom, provided that the Ministry of Investment facilitates the required procedures.
Asharq Al-Awsat learned that the Federation of Saudi Chambers had directed all the industrial and commercial chambers in the Kingdom to submit their observations and suggestions through the National Competitiveness Center (NCC) platform.
According to the new law, a copy of which was reviewed by Asharq Al-Awsat, the investor must abide by all laws and regulations in force in the Kingdom.
They must also maintain independent accounting records for the facility and provide any information requested by the ministry and relevant authorities to enable them to exercise their statutory powers.
The new investment must meet corporate governance national standards according to the related sector and pay all taxes and fees within the specified time under the laws and regulations in force in the Kingdom.
The new law will assign a ministerial committee to determine the approved activities in line with national security and vital economic interests and preserve public order.
An investor, who is a party to any dispute, including that which arises with a competent authority, may resort to the court or other alternative jurisdiction to settle disputes in a manner that does not contradict the laws and regulations in the country.
The competent authority may resort to international arbitration after obtaining the necessary approvals, following a contract concluded with the investor before the dispute arose, or according to the conditions agreed upon by the two parties.
Concerning the penalties, the ministry informs the investor in writing when the provisions and regulations are violated to remove them within a specified period.
In case of persistent violations, the investor shall be penalized with a fine of no more than $133,000 and asked to remove the offense. In addition, the registration or license will be revoked along with all or some of the granted facilities.
The regulation determines the procedures for detecting violations and the penalties for committing them.
The penalties are applied by the minister or his authorized representative, taking into account the gravity of the violation and its recurrence.
The law aims to attract direct investments, enhance the environment, preserve rights, and increase confidence to enter the Kingdom’s market.
The ministry is working to facilitate the procedures for attracting and protecting direct investments, enhancing the investment environment, preserving investor rights, increasing their confidence in local assets, and ensuring equal opportunities for direct public and private investments.