2019 is a promising year for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Energy Minister and Chairman of Saudi Aramco Khalid Al-Falih and Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi look at the economic development map as concerned official explain the plan

AL-KHOBAR – In line with the National Transformation Program 2020 and the Saudi Vision 2030, the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia has hosted the fifth edition of Al-Ahsa Investment Forum as part of the famed “Sharqiah Season”, the first of many Saudi Seasons spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister, minister of defense and chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs.

The two-day event culminated Friday. It was held in presence of the Saudi Energy Minister and Chairman of Saudi Aramco Khalid Al-Falih and Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. It was under the patronage of Prince Saud Bin Naif Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Governor of the Eastern Region and organized by Saudi Aramco in partnership with Al-Ahsa Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Forum shed light on key points of interest pertaining to investment and tourism, in relevance to the recently announced “Sharqiah Season” which features a wide variety of cultural, touristic and entertainment programs suited for all segments in Saudi Arabia. It also highlighted the city of Al-Ahsa as a global touristic attraction, notably after being named 2019 Arab Tourism Capital and listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

The forum offered a unique platform that explores the country’s windows for investment by providing a sound atmosphere for key stakeholders and investors. Major panel sessions and workshops comprised promising discussions on energy, investment and privatization opportunities, looking into future jobs and assessing vital projects in the Kingdom, next to industrial and agricultural investments on the rise in Saudi Arabia.

Main objectives of the Forum resided in the unfolding of major investment and touristic options which can immensely influence Saudi Arabia on several levels. It was expected to propel the Kingdom’s infrastructure, ensure political and social stability, upkeep commercial and economic development in addition to increasing the participation of the private sector. It also aimed at empowering SMEs to hike their contribution to the overall GDP as a valuable growth motivator, as well as help in the creation of further job opportunities for local talents, support local creativity and entrepreneurial initiatives, next to eliminating any obstacles facing various economic sectors.

The Forum also underlined foreign investments as an important topic of interest. In fact, foreign investors have poured $1.85 billion into the Saudi stock market in the first two months of 2019, according to the Saudi Stock Exchange data. The index is now up more than 8 percent, pumping vital Saudi assets in the country, outperforming neighboring Gulf peers.

Such milestones, along with the surfacing of new entertainment facilities in the region, are projected to trigger Saudi Arabia’s business investments, attract foreign investment and impact the country’s growth curve in the long run. The Kingdom’s ambitious reforms are attracting the world’s attention – this can be the steppingstone from which the Kingdom widens its horizons and secures a flourishing economy ahead for residents and visitors alike. – SG