Minimum investment limit
JEDDAH, 30 August — Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) is
reviewing the minimum investment limit for foreigners in the contracting and
SAGIA’s rethink of its June decision to fix the limit at SR2 million is
attributed to conflicting stands taken by the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and
Industry and medium and small scale investors in the Kingdom. While the chamber
wants the minimum investment for foreigners to be no more than SR500,000, the
medium and small businessmen contend that it should not be less than SR50
million, Al-Watan reported yesterday.
Fuhaid Al-Shareef, undersecretary for SAGIA’s investment services, said both
the proposals would be subjected to detailed studies and an appropriate decision
would be taken. SAGIA decided on the minimum level at the launch of the
investment authority on the basis of proposals and observations made by the
government and private sectors. All proposals were considered while SAGIA
prepared its executive by-laws in June, Al-Fuhaid said.
The official also pointed out that SAGIA was concerned about the worries
expressed by some businessmen on the adverse effects foreign investors’ entry
would make on small-scale industries.
Considering the economic difficulties and social importance of small
investors SAGIA is studying a number of options to support this segment, he
The chamber’s demand to bring down the minimum is, apparently, aimed at
rejuvenating the domestic economy with more investment inflow. On the other
hand, small-scale investors fear that foreign investors will dominate the small
enterprises scene and drive locals out of business if the minimum is kept low.