The Saudi Minister of Commerce Majid Al Qasabi said that promoting special economic zones is an integral part of the economic transformation plan part of the Saudi 2030 Vision.
Al-Qasabi added that the Kingdom’s distinguished location, making it as a bridge between the three continents, and abundance of natural and human resources, gives its economic zones a competitive advantage.
He said that the country is currently planning to establish special economic zones for major competitive industries and services.
Al-Qasabi said that a multi-sector approach will be used to bring together relevant government agencies on one hand, and bodies and investors at the local and international levels on the other.
Lessons learned from all parts of the world show that effective special economic zones are powerful factors to support economic development, he said.
Attracting foreign investment
Al-Qasabi said that these economic zones would provide the necessary infrastructure to attract direct foreign investment.
He said that the special economic zones will stimulate the trend towards specialization and transferring expertise between groups.
They will also act as launch bases for exports and enable the government to test policies and regulatory reforms before using them on the main economy.
Minister of Investment Khaled Al-Falih said, during the 2021 Budget Forum in Riyadh, that the free economic zones to be launched in Saudi Arabia are under final government review.
The kingdom has established a sound regulatory and financial infrastructure, in accordance with standards, financial principles and payment systems similar to those applied in major industrial countries.
This has resulted in the availability of a strong banking sector that benefits from management expertise and the latest internationally advanced technologies.
The financial sector provides its various services to the growing and developing commercial sector, which is what this financial infrastructure has distinguished for in terms of reliability and credibility.
The financial system of Saudi Arabia consists of the central bank (Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority), several specialized commercial banks, and the stock market.
The Saudi banking sector is organized according to the Banking Control Law issued by royal decree in 1966.
The government’s contribution to commercial bank shares is less than 10%, as sufficient liquidity enables financing at fair prices.