Saudi Arabia plans to create about five special economic zones that will provide incentives for venture capitalists to invest in sectors including manufacturing, biotechnology and cloud computing.
Last Monday, Saudi Arabia launched the “National Investment Strategy”, which aims to increase foreign direct investment by about 20 times, to reach $103 billion annually by 2030.
Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih said during a meeting with journalists in Riyadh on Wednesday that more details about the regions will be announced after obtaining final approvals within a few months.
He pointed out that the Kingdom aims to “establish four to five special economic zones within the initiatives of the first track in the investment strategy.”
These zones will offer diverse and competitive incentives packages to investors, according to Al-Falih.
Riyadh aims to establish these zones to “attract foreign direct investment and advance economic growth,” according to a working paper distributed by the ministry.
Officials participating in the meeting said that Saudi Arabia is seeking to attract investors in the fields of manufacturing, biotechnology and cloud computing to these regions.
The new strategy aims to raise net foreign direct investment flows to 388 billion riyals ($103.4 billion) annually, and increase domestic investment to reach about 1.7 trillion riyals ($453 billion) annually by 2030.
Foreign direct investment in the Kingdom amounted to $5.5 billion last year, according to official figures.
Al-Falih said that the Kingdom aims to recover some Saudi capital that did not find an opportunity in the Kingdom previously.
He pointed out that “the world today is swimming in a sea of liquidity and owners of capital are looking for opportunities,” stressing that “the Kingdom is a country of investment opportunities.”