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Saudi Arabia aims to attract more than $400 billion (Dh1.46bn) in investments and intends to be among the top ten competitive nations in the world for inward investment by 2010, a new report said.
Global Investment House said That Saudi authorities will look to attract $300bn of investment in “energy intensive industries” over the next 13 years.
A further $100bn of investments are also being sought for “knowledge-based” industries and a similar amount for transportation ventures in the country.
A variety of industrial projects, transport developments, building of six new cities, liberalisation initiatives as well as oil and gas ventures will increase the level of investment desired by the country.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in Saudi Arabia have increased from $183 million in 2001 to $18.3bn
The report said more than 4,500 new projects worth more than $100bn were licensed since the inception of Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (Sagia) in 2000.
Saudi Arabia started the process of attracting foreign direct investment long ago, when it issued the first foreign investment law in 1956.
The country issued new laws in 1962 and 1979, which included wide-ranging incentives for investment, such as exemption of customs duties for production inputs, nominal rental rates for land for the establishment of projects, financial assistance in the form of soft loans and exemption of exports from taxes and duties.
Saudi Arabia also introduced a law in 1979 under which it granted industrial and agricultural projects a 10-year tax holiday and a five-year tax holiday respectively to attract investment.
The total inflow in FDI stock reached $51bn at the end of 2006 as reported in World Investment Report, or 13 per cent of the nation’s GDP, with the United States standing as the Kingdom’s largest investor, followed by Japan and the UAE.
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