Saudi reforms to boost foreign investment in focus
Jeddah, August 20, 2014
Saudi Arabia’s reforms being rolled out in a bid to boost foreign investment, including a landmark decision to liberalise the kingdom’s capital markets, will be the focus of a study.
‘The Report: Saudi Arabia 2014,’ published by global publishing, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group, will outline the latest developments in Saudi Arabia’s efforts to diversify its economy and drive non-oil growth.
The publication will also explore the role that improved access to raw materials is likely to play in attracting new international investors to lighter segments of industry.
It contains contributions from the Governor of the Riyadh region, Prince Turki bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud; the Minister of Finance, Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al Assaf; the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Ali Al Naimi; the Minister of Labour, Adel Fakheih; and the CEO of the Saudi Stock Exchange, Adel Al Ghamdi, together with a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors.
Several international representatives including Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny, the Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry, Lim Hng Kiang; and the Secretary-General of the GCC, Abdul Latif Al Zayani, also give their views on Saudi Arabia’s development.
The kingdom remains the world’s largest oil producer, accounting for 13.1 per cent of global output, although its growing needs at home risk weighing on exports, said the report.
It provides coverage of the kingdom’s efforts to increase natural gas output as a means of meeting rising domestic demand. It also looks at the country’s decision to invest heavily in new water and power projects which will help boost generation significantly.
Major upgrades planned for Saudi Arabia’s transport sector, which will improve connectivity and bolster the kingdom’s logistics industry, is also in the spotlight.
The publication will consider the part that the GCC rail project will play in linking the region, while also focusing on local initiatives, including the new metro planned for Makkah and the transport infrastructure which forms part of Jeddah’s urban regeneration.
It will also put Saudi Arabia’s new mortgage law under the microscope, analysing the role that the legislation is expected to play in offering homebuyers more flexibility, besides exploring the potential for further growth and diversification in the Islamic financial services segment.
Jana Treeck, regional director, said that Saudi Arabia’s drive to create a more open business environment and broaden its economic base had generated a new audience of investors looking for information and data on the country.
“Long the main engine of growth, the kingdom’s hydrocarbons sector is now also supporting Saudi Arabia’s diversification efforts,” she said.
“Our new report looks in detail at the sectors of the Saudi economy marked for expansion, while providing the growing number of investors who are keen to tap into these opportunities with the business intelligence they need.”
Andrew Jeffreys, OBG’s CEO, added that aside from the major infrastructure and transport projects in the pipeline, the report had also noted the kingdom’s efforts to encourage small-business growth.
“With expansion forecast in key non-oil industries, such as logistics, heavy industry and retail, there will be plenty of developments for our team to document in the next phase of its research and relay to investors,” he said.
The OBG report marks the culmination of more than six months of field research by its team of analysts, assessing trends and development across the economy, including macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments.
It was produced with assistance from the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Asharqia Chamber. Contributions were also made by PwC, the Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi in Association with Latham & Watkins, Saudi Hollandi Bank and Deutsche Securities Saudi Arabia. - TradeArabia News Service