Arab News, Wednesday, Jan 18, 2023 | Jamadi Al Thani 25, 1444
Saudi Arabia to attract huge investments through structural changes: Minister
Saudi Arabia stands to draw enough large-scale investment thanks to its access
to natural resources, regulatory changes, and its young population, according to
the Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal Alibrahim.
“We have the right kind of incentive structures
and governance and processes in order to attract the right kind of investors for
the right kind of returns for them as partners,” Alibrahim told Bloomberg on the
sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
The Saudi government has made more than 700
regulatory changes as it seeks to attract investors, said Alibrahim. “We’re very
serious about our diversification efforts,” he added. “We’re open, and we’re
talking to all partners who’re interested in the Saudi story.”
Saudi Arabia saw the most robust increase in
employment in almost five years as business conditions in its non-oil economy
improved at a slightly slower pace at the end of last year following a surge.
“We still want to create more jobs, and we want to
even reach higher levels,” said Alibrahim. He doesn’t see higher interest rates
impacting the Saudi private sector.
With the highest growth rate among the G20
countries, continuous efforts to diversify the economy and a healthy inflow of
foreign direct investment, Saudi Arabia’s market performance has also been
“Tadawul is by far the largest stock exchange in
the Middle East, and it is seeking to become a regional center with
cross-listings of companies from other countries in the Gulf,” Waleed Rasromani,
corporate mergers and acquisitions partner of Dubai and Riyadh at Linklaters, a
UK-based multinational law firm had told Arab News earlier.
Intense merger and acquisition activity combined
with significant growth in initial public offerings have led the Kingdom’s
market to evolve and is expected to carry that momentum into 2023.
The International Monetary Fund also noted that
Saudi Arabia would maintain its position as the fastest-growing economy among
the G20 countries despite economic headwinds.
The Saudi Capital Market Authority is also focused
on raising institutional investor turnover to 41 percent of the total market
turnover by the financial year of 2023.
The Kingdom’s Financial Sector Development Program
is another factor that enables and supports Saudi market growth.
Excluding the Saudi Arabian Oil Co. IPO, it aimed
to increase the stock market’s value as a percentage of the gross domestic
product to 88 percent by 2030 from 66.5 percent in 2019.