Saudi Arabia awarded 348 licenses to international firms in Q1 2020

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Saudi Arabia
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The Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) updated that the country awarded Investor licenses to 348 new international companies in the first quarter of 2020. The numbers were part of the Investment Highlights Spring 2020 report released by MISA. 

It amounts to a 19 percent annual increase over the same period in 2019 and a 20 percent quarter-on-quarter increase over the last three months of 2019. However, month-on-month numbers decreased in March as the coronavirus pandemic began to hit business growth.

Khalid al-Falih
Minister of Investment – Saudi Arabia

“The first quarter of 2020 was Saudi Arabia’s strongest period for investor interest in ten years. However, the economic effects of COVID-19 began to be felt worldwide towards the end of this period, and this becomes evident when we compare the rate of new investment on a month-by-month basis.”

Companies in the UK and US were both noted as important associates in MISA’s statement, with 32 UK and 37 US companies granted licenses in the first quarter of 2020.

“Investors are the most important enablers of Saudi Arabia’s ongoing transformation through Vision 2030, and in recognition of this MISA has been tasked with safeguarding the stability and security of the Kingdom’s full investment ecosystem. This is the central aim of our COVID-19 business continuity initiatives,” Mr. al-Falih added.