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Business Expansion in Saudi Arabia Gaining Momentum

By Khurram Shehzad, Business Development Director (Sales), Proven 
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Khurram Shehzad, Business Development Director (Sales), Proven

The last few years have made it evident that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is fast transforming into the region’s primary hub for investment. Recent reforms and initiatives, driven by Vision 2030 that was first introduced back in 2016, are paving the way for attracting new business opportunities into the Kingdom.

Despite several challenges, the growth of the KSA economy stays steady, and the ease of doing business has also improved for Saudi Arabia. In accordance with Vision 2030, the Saudi government has made it apparent that the future of the Saudi Arabian economy lays on continuous expansion in various business sectors such as tourism, entertainment, culture, sports, transportation, logistics, and education, generating ample opportunities for foreign investors and local companies. The National Investment Strategy (NIS) has launched initiatives that are expected to bring a foreign investment of SAR 388 billion by the year 2030. This investment is expected to contribute around 65% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and reduce the unemployment ratio to less than 7%.

When a country launches initiatives such as the ones established by Saudi authorities, it is bound to generate a lot of investor interest, both locally and globally and among the business fraternity. Apart from introducing new initiatives, Saudi Arabia had announced several rules and regulations facilitating the access of foreign investors into the Saudi market. The Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA)’s SoP has been eased, and the process of setting up incorporation has been made more efficient. Aside from licensing, other post-incorporation requirements have been made convenient, too, so that foreign investment players experience the ease of setting up a fully functional entity in Saudi Arabia. MISA has also introduced a three-step service to help foreign investors establish and start a business from outside the Kingdom.  

Further to Saudi Arabia’s consistent commitment towards strengthening the Kingdom’s position as an attractive investment destination, the Kingdom launched ‘Invest Saudi’, a platform focused on meeting Vision 2030 objectives and unifying government efforts. To promote the platform, the Ministry of Investment (MISA) recently launched six overseas offices in Washington, London, Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo, and Paris as a part of international expansion plans. This new service enables companies and investors to obtain investment licenses quickly following international best practices and enhances the competitiveness of the Kingdom’s investment environment both regionally and globally. Additionally, the Saudi government has announced several relocation incentives to corporate entities for moving their headquarters in the country. In a recent update, 44 international corporations have already started establishing their regional head offices in Riyadh. 

Despite these efforts, entering the Saudi market can be challenging for businesses not fully aware of the end-to-end steps required for establishing a legal foreign-owned company. Hence, there is a need for in-depth knowledge throughout the entity establishment journey which plays a critical role in navigating intricacies.

There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia represents a rapidly evolving business environment. Local service providers like Proven can further alleviate foreign investors’ journey by assisting them in navigating different government agencies and processes involved in expanding into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The company provides local and international expertise to clients, helping them realize their growth ambitions.

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