Saudi Arabia sets up investment promotion agency

Saudi Arabia has set up an agency to promote investment in the country, a key goal of an ambitious economic reform agenda, the investment minister and state media said on Twitter, citing a cabinet decision.

The Saudi Investment Promotion Authority “will be a strong supporter of the investment system in its quest to achieve the objectives of the #national_investment_strategy by attracting and developing national and foreign investments,” Investment Minister Khalid al-Falih wrote in Arabic on Twitter.

Attracting foreign investment is a key part of Saudi Arabia’s “Vision 2030” plan to transform the top oil exporter’s economy and cut reliance on hydrocarbon revenues.

The investment ministry said last week that foreign direct investment (FDI) was up 9.5% year-on-year in the first quarter to nearly $2 billion.

FDI in 2021 topped 72.3 billion riyals ($19.3 billion) versus 20.2 billion in 2020, helped by a $12.4 billion deal by oil giant Aramco (2222.SE) to sell a stake in its oil pipelines network.

The National Investment Strategy, a broad plan that seeks to attract more than $3 trillion in investment into the domestic economy by 2030, aims to bring in more than $100 billion in FDI annually by the turn of the decade.

The investment ministry said in a tweet that the new agency’s mandate included enabling “integration and cooperation between entities” and leading the “Invest Saudi” brand and digital platform.

($1 = 3.7568 riyals)