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Foreign Investment in Saudi Arabia


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1) Ministry of Industry and Electricity:

  1. Foreign Capital Investment Committee:
    This is an inter-ministerial committee which passes judgment on joint ventures recommended by the Foreign Capital Investment Bureau.
  1. Foreign Capital Investment Bureau, FCIB:
    Relevant information on foreign capital investment regulations can be obtained from FCIB. The bureau evaluates and licenses non-industrial joint ventures on its own, and industrial projects in association with the Industrial Licensing Department.
  1. Engineering and Projects Department:
    Engineering drawings for proposed joint ventures are evaluated by this department.
  1. Industrial Protection and Encouragement Department:
    This department grants tariff protection for national industries.
  1. Industrial Cities Department:
    This department assigns plots of land in industrial cities.

2) Ministry of Commerce:

The Companies Department approves the joint venture's Article of Association, registers the companies under Companies Regulations and assigns Commercial Registration numbers (CR).

3) Saudi Consulting House:

Conducts market research and industrial feasibility studies for proposed joint ventures (for a fee). In addition, SCH prepares and publishes data on industrial development.

4) Investment Funds:

There are a number of specialized credit institutions established by the Government which provide credit to Saudi individuals and companies in all sectors of the economy.

(a) The Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) is the most important of these credit institutions. The fund is linked to the Ministry of Industry and Electricity and has particular relevance for joint ventures. Its objective is to encourage Saudis in the private sector to establish small and medium size industrial projects by providing low-cost medium and long-term capital for these projects. In addition the Fund provides marketing, technical and financial advice to all Fund-financed projects to enhance their chances of success.

(b) The Public Investment Fund, a government institution linked to the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, was established in 1971 to provide medium and long-term loans to the large scale government and private industrial projects that Saudi commercial banks fail to finance.

(c) The Real Estate Development Fund provides medium or long-term loans to individuals or organizations for private or commercial housing projects.

(d) The Saudi Arabian Agricultural Bank works under the umbrella of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Agriculture and Water. Its purpose is the provision of loans and credit facilities to farmers with the overall objective of developing and promoting agriculture and related activities. Loans are granted to those projects licensed under the Ministry of Agriculture and Water.


5) Major Joint Ventures' Partners:

In addition to being the major joint ventures' partners with several international industrial corporations in oil, gas, and petrochemicals, the activities of Petromin, Saudi Aramco and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation cover the development of national human resources and research and development.

6) The National Industrialization Company of Saudi Arabia:

NIC (P.O. Box 26707, Riyadh 11496, Saudi Arabia, Telex. No. 406662 TAWSAT SJ., Fax. No. 477-0898, Phone No. 476-7166) has been organized to stimulate approximately $10 billion of private industrial development in the Kingdom. It is a holding company with 12 percent of its paid-in capital to be owned by the Saudi government and the balance to come from private individual investors. NIC is seeking joint venture project proposals from companies who may be interested in 20-40 percent equity participation in new industrial joint ventures in Saudi Arabia.

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 Updated on:07 Apr 2000

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