By Beatrice Thomas
Saudi’s Shoura Council plans to introduce more incentives and cut red tape for business
Saudi’s Shoura Council has moved to make the Kingdom more “investment-friendly” amid plans to introduce more incentives and cut red tape for business, it was reported.
A special committee has been formed to carry out studies with a view of amending parts of the Foreign Investment Law.
Fahaad Al Hamad, Assistant President of the Council, said several members had noted that current foreign investments neither contributed to the Kingdom’s sustained development nor diversified its revenue base, the Saudi Gazette reported.
He said members also pointed out that the law was not instrumental in creating more Saudi jobs and nationalizing technology - a major objective of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
Al Hamad revealed that the council rejected an initial report from the Committee for Economic and Energy Affairs, which contained several proposals to attract foreign investment.
He said members felt it did not deal sufficiently with technical matters and failed to canvass SAGIA and representatives of business chambers for their views on the issue.
The committee instead wanted to form a special committee to re-study the matter, he said.
The council three years ago asked SAGIA to carry out a study on the effectiveness of the Foreign Investment Law and propose changes.
While noting that previous proposals were dealing only with parts of the law, the committee stressed the need for carrying out a more comprehensive analysis.