BUSINESS

70% rise in new licenses for foreign businesses

April 29, 2019
Ibrahim Al-Omar
Ibrahim Al-Omar

RIYADH — The number of new licenses approved for foreign businesses in Saudi Arabia rose by 70 percent in the first quarter of 2019 from a year earlier, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing the governor of Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA).

“Applications from British and Chinese companies drove the increase, rising by 86 percent and 71 percent, respectively,” Ibrahim Al-Omar was quoted as saying in an interview.

FDI figures for the first quarter aren’t yet available, though SAGIA is “continuing to see strong momentum from foreign investors,” Al-Omar said.

“We’ve seen a good increase in the number of companies looking to operate in Saudi Arabia, and in the number of industries that they are looking to invest in.”

SAGIA is working with the World Bank to improve its ranking on the ease-of-doing-business index, where it currently ranks 92nd among 190 countries.

“We are reviewing all licensing requirements, and you will see a 50 percent drop overall from government departments in terms of the time, cost and number of requirements to invest in Saudi Arabia,” Al-Omar said. — Agencies


April 29, 2019
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