On the 24th of October 2017, the Kingdom welcomed over 170 speakers from around the world to the Future Investment Initiative (FII), which has been powered by the Public Investment Fund. An eye opener to the world, that Saudi Arabia is open for business.
‘An eye opener to the world, that Saudi Arabia is open for business.’
Saudi Arabia is going under an unprecedented reform, ranging from diversifying its economy to reduce their dependency on oil, preparing government owned companies for privatization, supporting small and medium enterprises, investing into renewable energy, introducing VAT taxation in 2018, as well as tax on foreign residence, adjusting energy prices, transforming the Public Investment Fund to one of the largest sovereign wealth funds etc.
This is all part of the 2030 Vision, which aims towards making the famous oil giants, to one of the largest economies in the world; a futuristic approach to develop the nation towards a knowledge hub and a land of opportunities.
‘…the 2030 Vision, … develop the nation towards a knowledge hub and a land of opportunities.’
Investors from around the world are intrigued by the latest announcements of the Kingdom, these include:
NEOM – a $500bn mega city, which will be a special green economic zone, aiming to become the biggest Arab economy to foreign investment. This has already caught the attention of investors such as Siemens amongst many others. This city will be regulated by a separate regulatory framework, independent from the Kingdoms regulations. In August this year, the Kingdom announced another mega project, the development of the Red Sea islands, which they intend to turn into international tourist destinations. This will open up business for hotels, luxury real estate, infrastructure ranging from airports, roads, ports, to renewable energy opportunities etc. Richard Branson already announced his commitment to invest into this luxury destination. The islands are untouched heritage sites, which will be developed in a sensible manner, to conserve the natural beauty and habitat of indigenous species.
‘NEOM – a $500bn mega city… the Red Sea islands … international tourist destination’
New regulations have therefore been introduced to enable the 2030 Vision goals. In 2016 a new Companies Law was implemented, which is making business in Saudi Arabia more attractive, allowing 100% foreign owned trading companies to operate and in August 2017 also allowing 100% foreign owned engineering firms to operate in the Kingdom. The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), who are responsible for overseeing investment affairs in the Kingdom, are now offering a more user-friendly website allowing companies to view their profiles online, to make new applications, renew licenses etc.
‘New regulations have therefore been introduced to enable the 2030 Vision goals.’
Shortly after the FII, the Kingdom announced that it is opening its IPO market for foreign investors, which previously was only possible through qualified foreign institutions that had to meet specific requirements set by the Capital Markets Authority. New regulations are set to be announced towards the end of 2017 to ease Mergers & Acquisitions, and introduce new listing regulations. In June 2018 women will be allowed to drive, another mile stone for the country. Women are on the up rise and are eager to leave their mark.
A domino effect has hit the Kingdom, with changes happening at a rapid pace, requiring us to stay on top of the game to ensure people and companies are up to date and ALYAQOUB is there to support you every step of the way.
Welcome to a new Saudi Arabia, with endless opportunities, shaping a new tomorrow.