FDI fetches job for Saudis
Riyadh, June 13, 2007
Foreign investment pouring into Saudi Arabia have created 223,000 jobs last year, said an official at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (Sagia) in remarks published yesterday.
Dr Awad Al Awad, Sagia deputy governor for investment affairs pointed out that 70,000 of those jobs were filled by Saudis.
About 90 per cent of foreign investors offered jobs through their investments, he was quoted as saying in The Gulf News.
During the past few years, the Saudi government has been encouraging foreign direct investment, particularly investment that is tied to joint ventures with Saudi partners.
Sagia has been established to handle, improve the investment climate and approve investment proposals.
According to Al Awad, Saudi labour productivity was very low. 'The oil sector employed only two per cent of Saudis even when the sector produced 50 per cent of the gross domestic product.'
Al Awad cited the legislation as one of the challenges facing foreign investors.
'The move towards amendment of regulations should be quick,' he said, adding that Sagia had adopted a programme to reduce the time required for registration of a company to only two days using electronic registration methods.
An application for establishing a company can be posted on the ministry of commerce website instead of the local print papers as required before, he said.