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Saudi Arabia Eases Procedures to Boost Mining Sector | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih talks to journalists before a meeting of OPEC oil ministers in Vienna, Austria, June 2, 2016/. Reuters

Jeddah- The Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources in Saudi Arabia announced willingness to launch more investment licenses in the mining sector for the purpose of developing the domain and increasing its contribution to USD25 billion by 2020 amid rising interest of foreign investors in exploiting opportunities.

Reliable sources in the mining sector told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources received new instructions on easing procedures to urge foreign investors’ involvement in the sector. Previously, some investors faced prolonged procedures that led them to change their mind.”

Same sources added that the ministry has presented a new ongoing project that targets re-planning mining chances, knowing its details and offering them to investors during investment related conferences as well as providing motives that would boost investors in the domain.

Deputy Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Sultan Shawli declared that efforts are exerted to develop the mining sector and increase its contribution to the GDP via the implementation of the Saudi Vision 2030 goals.

According to the ministry, the current contribution of mining in GDP is 2.5% and is expected to rise in case investments grew and opportunities were exploited. The sector also grants licenses in zink, phosphate and other minerals.

The ministry is implementing a strategy that enhances investment opportunities in the mining sector, provides an appealing investment environment, develops skills of Saudi labor force, protects promising mining zones and improves technical information and data related to mining investments.

Saudi lands are rich in natural mineral resources and there are several factors that ensure success in this field, represented in availability of: nearby energy, financial solvency, increasing demand and mining investment regulations.

The domestic market is expected to witness a rising demand on local products of metal ores, which are forecast to grow up to 7.5% in upcoming years.