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Thu 21 May 2020 04:18 PM

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Saudi Arabia grants 348 investor licenses in Q1

Investment in Saudi Arabia began to slow in March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic

Saudi Arabia grants 348 investor licenses in Q1

Khalid Al Falih, the kingdom’s Minister of Investment. Image: AFP/Getty Images

The Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) has announced that 348 new international companies were granted investor licenses in Q1 2020, it was announced on Wednesday.

In a statement, MISA said that the figure represents a 19 percent annual increase compared to the same time period in 2019, a 20 percent quarter-on-quarter increase from the last three months of 2019.

“The first quarter of 2020 was Saudi Arabia’s strongest period for investor interest in ten years,” said Khalid Al Falih, the kingdom’s Minister of Investment. “However, the economic effects of Covid-19 began to be felt worldwide towards the end of this period, and this becomes evident when we compare the rate of new investment on a month-by-month basis”

“January and February saw strong momentum, but growth began to slow in March,” he added. “As we look toward a post-Covid-19 future, this is a reassuring show of confidence from the world’s investors in the kingdom’s long-term prospects as an attractive investment decision”

During Q1, 37 US companies and 32 UK companies were awarded licenses. Sector growth was seen across various sectors, including ICT, retail, e-commerce, tourism and entertainment.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Al Falih said that MISA has “spoken to investors about how and where they need support and taken their queries directly to our government partners, ensuring that the regulations needed for companies across vital sectors to continue to operate are put in place.”

“Saudi Arabia remains open for business,” he added.

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