Saturday, 20 Apr 2019

SAGIA Showcases Successful Reform Program at WB Spring Meetings

Riyadh, Deputy Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) Ibrahim Al-Suwail has presented, during the World Bank's Spring Meetings in Washington, the outcomes of the National Licensing Reform Program (NLRP) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, spotlighting how it has helped to cut red tape, remove routine complications and boost international investment in the Kingdom.

As part of Saudi Arabia's delegation to the meetings, which took place last Friday, Al-Suwail disclosed that the reform process has led to achieving substantial growth in foreign investments size in the Kingdom, citing that last year, Saudi Arabia saw the value of inward FDI grow by 127% year-on-year and drawing attention that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is currently witnessing a strong growth in the size of foreign investments.

He added that NLRP has played an important role in ameliorating the investment operating environment, which in turn, has helped to attract increasing levels of investment into the Kingdom.

Through this program, the number of licensing requirements in Saudi Arabia has been reduced by more than half as more than 60% of over 5,500 licenses, which were subjected to a reform process, were either eliminated or modified.

In its latest Doing Business report, the World Bank ranked Saudi Arabia as the 4th largest reformer within the G20 and noted improvement across four key pillars in its report due to a series of social and economic reforms that aim at realizing the Kingdom's economic potential under Vision 2030.

Commenting on the reforms, Ibrahim Al-Omar, Governor of SAGIA, said: We have developed strong momentum in inward investment over the last year, and the wide-ranging licensing reforms we have implemented have been an important part of catalyzing that investment.

Saudi Arabia is undergoing a major economic transformation as part of Vision 2030 � our future prosperity depends on innovation, foreign investment and private sector growth, but the licensing regulations in place were acting as a barrier to realizing these ambitions. To tackle this, we combined international best practice with an approach tailored to the local context in order to eliminate unnecessary restrictions and make it easier to understand and comply with those that remain.

Source: Saudi Press Agency