Saudi Arabia targets $3.3 billion in cumulative investment until 2030, says deputy minister

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has enacted more than 600 economic reforms since the launch of the Vision 2030 plan with the aim of attracting SR12.4 trillion ($3.3 trillion) in cumulative investment and 1.8 trillion SR of foreign direct investment between 2021 and 2030 under the National Investment Strategy, said a deputy minister of the Ministry of Investment.

Speaking to Arab News Saad Al-Shahrani, Acting Deputy Minister for Investment Promotion at Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment, said the Kingdom achieved an 18% increase in foreign direct investment in 2020 , even as global FDI fell by 35% due to the pandemic.

The flow of FDI in 2021 increased by 257% compared to 2020, largely thanks to a SR 46.5 billion infrastructure agreement concluded by Aramco with a consortium of global investors in the second quarter of 2021.

If the huge Aramco deal is excluded, the Kingdom attracted SR5.3 billion in the second quarter of last year.

Al-Shahrani added that the NIS launched in 2021 is a plan to transform the Kingdom into a global hub for business and talent.

Saad Al-Shahrani

During the interview, the minister revealed that the FDI flow in the first quarter of 2022 increased by 10% to SR 7.4 billion compared to the same period last year.

He further said that NIS helped MISA close 49 investment deals worth SR3.5 billion in the second quarter of 2022, creating 2,000 jobs across all sectors.

“These figures testify to the good execution of the government’s strategy and the impact of new reforms, initiatives and investment opportunities”, declared the Deputy Minister.

He added: “The Kingdom has made remarkable progress in many economic and investment indicators, ranking third in the ease of protecting minority investors index out of 132 countries, for the year 2021.”

Fastest growing among G-20 countries

The deputy minister further noted that the Kingdom had reached the top spot among 22 countries in Ipsos’ Global Consumer Confidence Index for May 2022.

Citing the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook 2022, Al-Shahrani said the Kingdom is now the fastest growing nation among the Group of 20 countries, with a growth rate of 7.6 percent. .

“Saudi Arabia’s regulatory transformation has a direct impact on the basic economy. Along with healthy demand and investor interest in the oil sector, our non-oil economy has shown strong growth,” he added.

The deputy minister said flash estimates of real gross domestic product growth in the second quarter showed 11.8% year-on-year growth, the highest rate since 2011, supported by real GDP growth from activities. oil and non-oil by 23.1% and 5.4%, respectively.

Industrial production on the rise

Commenting on the rise in the industrial production index, Al-Shahrani said: “The IPI rose 24% year on year in May 2022, with manufacturing increasing by more than 28%. These numbers are a direct result of the government’s active diversification efforts.

He also claimed that the Kingdom will become one of the most competitive economies in the world and an attractive investment destination by 2030.

The Deputy Minister further noted that digital transactions are increasing in Saudi Arabia, in line with the government’s goal to have 70% of all transactions be digital by 2025.

“Policymakers have listened to investors’ needs and responded appropriately to create an investment ecosystem that rivals the best in the world,” he continued.

The future of Saudi Arabia is tourism

The Deputy Minister further indicated that tourism will soon become one of the main drivers of the Saudi economy as the economic diversification drive continues.

He revealed that the Kingdom has already issued more than 3,500 tourism investment licenses, a crucial step towards reaching 10% of the national GDP through tourism by 2030.

Al-Shahrani added that the Kingdom will welcome more than 100 million tourists by 2030 and generate one million jobs in the sector.

“NEOM, The Red Sea Project, AlUla, Soudah, AMAALA and Diriyah Gate are huge opportunities for investors,” he continued.

The Deputy Minister further revealed that the Kingdom’s flag carrier, SAUDIA, will add 94 new destinations to bring visitors to the Kingdom by 2030.

In addition to tourism, MISA also signs agreements with companies in the renewable energy, logistics and pharmaceutical sectors, the deputy minister added.

“It is abundantly clear that the headwinds that are whetting the appetite of global investors are not blowing in Saudi Arabia’s direction. The government’s strategy, inspired leadership, talent at all levels, well-executed reforms and a clear vision of the future have combined to make the Kingdom an investment powerhouse,” Al-Shahrani said.