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Saudi Arabia Foreign Investment Law





Article 1

For the purpose of implementing this Regulation, the following expressions and terms shall have the meaning ascribed beside each, unless the context deems otherwise:


The President: 
The President of the Supreme Economic Council

The Council:
 The Supreme Economic Council

The Board of Directors:
The Board of Directors of the General Investment Authority

The Chairman of the  Board of Directors:
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Investment Authority.

The Governor:  
The Governor of the General Investment Authority

The Authority: 
The General Investment Authority

The Order: 
The Order of the General Investment Authority

The Regulation:
The Regulation for Implementation of the Order of the General Investment Authority

The Center:
The Comprehensive Service Center provided for in Article  (9) of the Order of the Authority.





The Authority shall be situated in Riyadh, and the Board of Directors may establish branches and offices of the Authority within and outside the Kingdom.





The Authority shall oversee investment affairs in the Kingdom and shall prepare state policies in the field of developing and enhancing local and foreign investment and to submit the same to the Council.  The said policies shall include, but are not limited to, the following elements:

 1. Increase of national income and diversification of its sources.

  2. Transfer of settlement of technology.

  3.Developing exportation.

  4. Development of national resources which shall include creating employment opportunities of high economical and experimental yield for citizens.

  5. Support of competition, improvement of services and products and diversification of alternatives for the consumers.

  6. Integration of investment in the Kingdom.

  7. Utilization of the relative advantages the Kingdom enjoys and each region on its own.

  8. Establishing the strategic aspect of investment and its priorities.

  9. Consideration for environment preservation in investment projects.



The Authority shall propose executive plans and rules capable of forming the investment climate in the Kingdom, some of these areas are the following:

1.  Incentives which foster the development of local investment and attracts foreign investment, both being directed in conformity with state  policies and plans, and to ensure their ability to compete accordingly with other countries.

2. The course of technical education and training in conformity with the plans and requirements of investment development.

3. Conditions for granting concessions for projects and companies.

4. State investment in projects and privatization programs.

5. International conventions and laws related to investment.

6. Finance programs.

7. Custom exemptions and tax incentives capable of attracting and settling investment.



The Authority shall monitor the performance of the investment activity and assess its ability to meet the target.  It shall prepare regular reports in this regard and submit the same to the Council which shall include the following elements:

  1. Investment indicators.

  2. Growth of national product and per capita income.

  3. Increase in employment opportunities and the assimilation of Saudis within.

  4. Transfer and settlement of technology.

  5. Investment impediments.

  6. The extent and cause of local and foreign capital participation in, or retreat from, investment in the Kingdom.

  7. Proposals for improving the climate for investment in the Kingdom including proposals to amend pertinent laws.

  To realize these objectives, the Authority may request the necessary information and statistical data from investment projects and owners of these projects are to answer the request.



The Authority shall prepare studies on investment opportunities in the various economic sectors of the Kingdom consistent with the public policies of the state, investment priorities, development plans and objectives and shall promote these opportunities through:


1.   Direct contact channels with investor through the Authority and its branches in the Kingdom and representatives offices abroad in cooperation with Saudi Industrial Chambers of Commerce and Saudi Consulates abroad.

2.  Organizing conferences, symposiums, exhibitions and participation in those organized by others.

3.  Organizing lectures inside the Kingdom and abroad to introduce the Kingdom’s policy towards investment, governing laws and available incentives and facilities.

4.  Issuing information pamphlets and booklets in different suitable languages and publishing these through the various means of media.

5. Inviting delegations of investors and relevant regional and foreign institutions to visit the Kingdom and have immediate knowledge about investment opportunities.

6. Creating channels for cooperation with international, regional and local organizations and institutions specialized in the area of investment.

7. Encouraging the establishment of joint-venture projects between Saudi investors and their foreign counterparts.

8.Advertising the Authority’s activities and the available investment opportunities in the Kingdom through the various communication means especially those concerned with investment affairs.



The Authority shall undertake to develop a multiple investment database that relies on the statistical surveys conducted by the Authority or the information received from related bodies and to connect the same to local, regional and international databases specialized in investment affairs.  These databases must cover all information, statistics and indicators available which the Authority needs in the preparation of policies, plans and the assessment of performances, or that which investors need in feasibility studies or use of their projects.  The Authority shall apply the advance means of the information technology.



The Authority shall coordinate and act with the relevant government or private entities concerned and related international and regional organizations in order to enable the Authority to carry out its duties through the following:


1. Comprehensive Service Center.

2. Permanent or ad hoc Committees formed from time to time between the Authority and government and private entities.

3.Participation in related international organizations and institutions.






The Board of Directors shall formulate the policies and rules governing the Authority’s operations and shall oversee its implementation.  It shall approve the plans and executive programs of the Authority and shall monitor its performance.  The Board of Directors shall also determine the conditions to issue, amend and revoke local and foreign capital investment licenses and the necessary time period to issue licenses and shall determine the fees to be collected by the Authority for its services.



The Governor may call the Board of Directors to convene and shall preside over its meetings and may deputize any of its members to preside.  The meetings shall be convened at the Authority’s main office in Riyadh.  The Governor may call for a meeting to be convened at another venue, if necessary.



The Board of Directors shall propose a list of types of activities excluded from foreign investment prior to its submission to the Council.  The Board of Directors may suggest an update to this list as required by circumstances.



The Board of Directors shall upon the Governor’s proposals and within six months from the promulgation of this Regulation approve the following:


1.Organizational structure of the Authority’s units and main executives offices indicating its powers and duties in conformity with the nature of the Authority’s task and enabling it to carry out its duties as specified in the Order and this Regulation.


2.Financial and administrative regulations in conformity with the nature of the Authority’s task.  These regulations should include the financial and administrative powers conferred on the various administrative levels of the Authority.


3. Regulation for the Authority’s personnel in accordance to the Authority’s order and stipulating the rules relevant to their appointment, promotion, allowances and bonuses and any other rules relating thereto.



The Board of Directors shall have a secretary appointed by the Governor’s order, who shall arrange its tasks, schedules of meetings and shall enter the minutes of the meetings and decisions in regular records.  The said secretary shall send notice of meetings to the members at least two weeks prior to the date of meeting and shall send the meeting agenda and memos to the members one week prior to the meeting . The minutes of the meetings of the Board of Directors shall be duly signed by the Chairman, the members, and the secretary. The Board of Directors’ deliberations are confidential and shall not be disclosed unless the chairman otherwise permits.





The Governor reports to the President of the Council and shall exercise his duties as an executive responsible for the administration of the Authority as set forth in the Order and this Regulation and as assigned by the Board of Directors and shall be responsible for the execution of the Authority’s policies, the administration of its operations and the running of its affairs including the issuance of investment licenses in accordance to Article 9 of this Regulation, provided that rejection decisions shall be made by the Board of Directors.



The Governor or any one he deputizes shall represent the Authority before any parties and shall act to coordinate its works with the concerned governmental bodies and shall sign the contracts and agreements on behalf of the Authority according to the rules determined by the Board of Directors.



The Governor shall propose activity plans for the Authority, make the required programs for its execution and monitors the execution therein after assuring the availability of the necessary financial and human resources and shall submit to the Board of Directors, the regular reports the performance of the Authority.



The Governor shall oversee preparations for meetings of the Board of Directors, which shall include calling for the Board to convene, determining the articles of the agenda according to priorities and suggestions by members of the Board of Directors or that received by the administrative organ of the Authority and shall monitor execution of issued resolutions.



The Governor or his deputy shall supervise the application process for an investment license as to assure promptness of action and shall review the investors’ grievances concerning their application or other decisions by the Authority relating to investment affairs and shall submit the same to the Board of Directors.





The administrative organ of the Authority shall be appointed according to the organizational structure and the administrative powers approved by the Board of Directors.  The said organ shall have sufficient personnel of adequate experiences to perform the tasks assigned to the

Authority.  The Authority may seek the assistance of outside experts to perform these tasks through limited contracts.





The Comprehensive Service Center shall undertake the following:


1.                  Receive applications for investment projects licenses and verify the completion of documentation.


2.                  Evaluate and verify license applications and eligibility and render recommendations of approval or rejection of application.


3.         To serve investors and facilitate their requests with respect to procedures and steps necessary to execute the project.  Complete and follow-up on applications for services needed in coordination with represented governmental bodies.




The Governor, in coordination with the concerned government circles as provided for in Article (9) of the Order of the General Investment Authority, shall issue a decision specifying the method for selecting representatives of these governmental circles for the Center, specifying their duties and how they shall be carried out through the Center,  coordinating their relation with the Center and determining their reference in such a way that shall guarantee the realization of the objectives set forth.



Representatives of the authorities concerned with investment shall facilitate  the task of the Center in examining documents by providing information from the authorities they represent and shall act to assist investors and their requirements for information, issuance of licenses, approval, visas, and permissions that investors may need.


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05 November 2001 05:41:04 PM