21-11-20 Events


5 reasons to invest in Saudi Arabia

In the wake of the Vision 2030 plan announced in 2016 aiming at breaking with its dependence on hydrocarbons and diversifying its economy, Saudi Arabia is gradually establishing itself as a “place to do business”. A modern infrastructure, facilitated foreign investment and a high quality of life are all reasons to believe in this statement. By the way, here are five of them…

Because the country is attracting more and more foreign investment

In 2016, Crown Prince Mohammed Ben Salmane announced the Vision 2030 project, an ambitious program of economic diversification in the kingdom which until then had been highly dependent on the oil and gas sectors. Since then, foreign direct investment inflows have increased tenfold. According to the 2020 World Investment Report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), foreign direct investment (FDI) flows increased by 7% between 2018 and 2019, reaching US$4.6 billion. Similarly, FDI stocks increased in 2019 to reach US$ 236 billion, the highest level among Arab countries by far .

Because the Saudi State facilitates the entry of foreign capital

If FDI is on the rise in Saudi Arabia, it is largely due to the removal of ownership restrictions for strategic foreign investors. In 2019, the country embraced the OECD Investment Guidelines, which include non-discrimination, investment protection, investment sustainability, transparency, safeguarding public policies, easing residence requirements for employees, and transfer of technology and skills. The approach is also in line with Vision 2030 and its new economic policy aiming at improving the country’s investment environment and promoting economic diversification.

Riyadh, seen from its Skyline

Because France is already one of the countries most invested in Saudi Arabia

In terms of FDI flows, France is on the third step of the podium of the countries that inject the most capital into Saudi Arabia. Hotels and energy are the sectors where France is the most active on the peninsula, with holdings like Total and Accor leading the way. But since the country’s economic and social opening, France has invested in new economic territories. The French government has forged several partnerships, particularly in culture and education, with the Saudi government, including the development of the historic and tourist site of AlUla, a heritage of the Nabataean civilization. Through this type of partnership, France is attracting several French experts to the kingdom, whether in the tourism, urban planning, agriculture or environment sectors.

Because the country is economically healthy and stable

The Saudi economy is ranked 62nd out of 190 economies by the World Bank in its Doing Business 2020 report. The country jumped 30 places compared to the previous year. This is the largest increase in this ranking. The performance is due to several factors: the country’s controlled inflation, its stable exchange rate, its openness to extra-territorial capital, as well as the ambitious privatization programs implemented by the kingdom.

Al Fareed rock in AlUla

Because it is one of the happiest countries on the planet.

In 2020, Saudi Arabia ranked 28th in the World Happiness Report, a happiness ranking by country published annually since 2012 by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The kingdom is the second “happiest” Arab country after the United Arab Emirates (21st). This ranking is based on a survey of representative samples of citizens who give their well-being a score out of 10. The report correlates the results with various life factors. In this case, several factors contribute to this result, including access to education, a high average salary ($22,850 in 2020) and security.

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