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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced, on Wednesday, that 44 international companies have received licenses for their regional headquarters to conduct their activities in the capital, Riyadh.

This comes “within the program to attract the regional headquarters of international companies, which is supervised by the Ministry of Investment and the Royal Commission for the City of Riyadh,” according to the official news agency (SPA).

The delivery of licenses for regional headquarters to representatives of international companies came on the sidelines of a dialogue session on the program, with the participation of Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih, and Fahd bin Abdulmohsen Al-Rasheed, CEO of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, during the activities of the second day of the fifth edition of the Future Investment Initiative.

The regional headquarters is “an entity affiliated with a global company, established under the applicable regulations in the Kingdom, for the purposes of support, management and strategic direction for its branches and subsidiaries operating in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Al-Rasheed said: “Companies will bring (…) global expertise that will work and live with their families in the Kingdom, and contribute to the development of research and innovation fields, which, in the medium and long term, will lead to providing a supportive environment that transfers knowledge and experience to young national talents, and develops their skills.” .

“The program will contribute to adding about 67 billion riyals (about $18 billion) to the local economy, and will provide about 30,000 new job opportunities by 2030,” he added.

The Saudi government recently approved “a set of recommendations to enable international schools to settle and work in the city of Riyadh within the program to attract international schools, which is part of the program to attract regional headquarters for international companies.”

Al-Rasheed told Reuters that Saudi Arabia’s attempt to attract companies to establish regional headquarters in Riyadh was not aimed at ending the companies’ operations elsewhere.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, gave foreign companies until the end of 2023 to establish regional headquarters in the city or risk not signing contracts with the kingdom’s government, as it competes to attract foreign capital and talent.

Several foreign companies agreed earlier this year to set up regional offices in the kingdom rather than overseeing operations remotely.

Saudi Arabia plans to double the population and economy of its capital, Riyadh, in the next decade. The city’s population is currently estimated at seven million, and the city is moving towards improving the quality of life, according to Reuters.

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