RIYADH — The investment sector in Saudi Arabia witnessed a record growth of 31 percent during the year 2022, reaching more than SR1 trillion ($266.6 million), for the first time in the history of the Kingdom. This was announced by Minister of Investment Eng. Khalid Al-Falih.

Addressing the opening session of the Saudi Special Economic Zones Investment Forum, here on Monday, Al-Falih said that the Kingdom witnessed a dramatic shift by becoming a destination for investment, with a huge cash flow from abroad.

The minister said that the private sector has become a leader in investment in Saudi Arabia, noting that the Kingdom has achieved economic goals and development goals, that exceeded both the planned and expected ones.

Al-Falih emphasized that ‘the Regional Headquarters Program’ provides outstanding benefits for international companies while establishing their regional headquarters for the Middle East and North Africa region in Saudi Arabia, specifically in Riyadh.

The minister stated that green projects in Saudi Arabia aimed to increase the contribution of renewable energy by 50 percent in the energy sector. “Saudi Arabia will be a pioneer in investing in green industrial foundations, such as the electric car manufacturing and hydrogen production. The special economic zones, which were launched in 2013, reflected Saudi Arabia’s sustainable commitment to finding and creating opportunities for global business, and this commitment made the Saudi economy and investment the best in the world and the most dynamic and vital,” he said.

Al-Falih said: “Our goal is to make the Kingdom among the leading nations economically. The special economic zones are the cornerstone of investment in the Kingdom, and the industrial logistical program.”

The minister noted that the gross national product amounted to 17 percent of non-oil revenues, while the growth of the non-oil sector reached 5.5 percent in 2021, and it recorded an increase at the same pace in 2022.

Al-Falih said that the employment rate has increased, while the unemployment rate has decreased. He pointed out that Saudi Arabia has embarked on several giga projects with pumping of investments worth billions of riyals. These included projects such as the NEOM, Red Sea Project, electric cars, and Saudi green projects, in addition to direct investments in technical and technological fields.

He said that the special economic zones will be completed near seaports and airports, and will allow investors to form partnerships. It will also enhance innovation and Saudi Arabia's capabilities to attract international companies to the Kingdom, as well as to strengthen national capabilities in the non-oil sector, he added.

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