A total of 373 American companies now have interests in a diverse range of economic and industrial sectors
RIYADH, March 22, 2018 – The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has announced that the level of US investments in the Saudi market prior to the start of 2018 exceeded SAR 207 billion, based on the activity of 373 companies with diversified interests in service, industrial, real estate, scientific and technical and temporary licences.
Industrial activity accounted for the largest share of investment, with SAR 193 billion going to 95 projects. The service sector came next, with SAR 13.5 billion in 245 projects while commercial activities came in third, with financing of over SAR 300 million for 9 projects. Two real estate projects in the Kingdom were targeted with SAR 16 million from the United States, whereas an additional 16 projects attracted SAR 2 million with temporary licences.
In 2017, Saud Arabia welcomed investment from 16 American companies entering the Saudi market for the first time, with investments totaling SAR 382.2 million. The service sector was the largest beneficiary of these new arrivals, with 13 licences amounting to SAR 284.2 million., The industrial sector was granted two licences totaling SAR 97.5 million and one temporary licence for a SAR 500,000 investment.
Key Commodities and Products
Companies in the Kingdom provide some of the most significant imports to the United States. In 2016, the Kingdom supplied the U.S. market with an array of products such as metal, chemical and organic products, fertilizers, aluminium, and plastic derivatives. The Kingdom is also an export market for U.S. goods such as cars and car parts, aircraft and aircraft parts, medical equipment, optical products, photocopiers, heavy machinery, machinery and electrical appliances and parts.
Saudi Vision 2030 and SAGIA’S Efforts
The above figures are ample proof that several major reforms to the Kingdom’s investment environment in accordance with Saudi Vision 2030 are becoming beneficial. The national campaign in enhancing the business and investment development in the Kingdom is driven by “Tayseer”, the executive committee established to improve business performance in the private sector. This is being accomplished through the implementation of initiatives for economic development. Tayseer works in providing a stable and stimulating environment for private sector expansion and sustainability. Tayseer works in conjunction with government agencies and the private sector to achieve its goals. The efforts have been instrumental in attracting investment from the world’s largest countries, especially, the U.S., which has maintained close ties to the Kingdom, dating back to the 1930s when King Abdulaziz Al Saud granted the U.S. oil exploration rights in the Kingdom.
In 1932, the two countries signed the Temporary Commercial Diplomatic Agreement, the first treaty between the two countries to establish political and consular representation, judicial maintenance, trade and navigation. This was followed by the Petroleum Exploration Agreement, granting the U.S. rights to explore for oil in Saudi Arabia. In 1972, the Kingdom imported several goods and products from the United States worth USD $ 314 million, while Saudi Arabia exported goods worth USD $194 million to the United States.
In 1974, the Kingdom and the U.S. signed a joint statement establishing the Saudi-American Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation to support the Kingdom when the country was experiencing a significant increase in the number of projects in development. Two historic visits to the United States have contributed greatly in strengthening the two countries’ bilateral relations; the visit of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz in 2010 and the visit of King Salman bin Abdulaziz in September 2015.