Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Arabia: From “Consumer” to “Manufacturer” | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Saudi saleswoman works in a boutique at a mall in Jeddah January 9, 2012. REUTERS/Susan Baaghil

Jeddah- Foreign industrial companies have boosted investments in Saudi market to reach around 15% of the total investments in the industry sector (USD285 billion). Also, some international companies, specialized in medium and heavy industries, showed interest in entering the local market.

Experts said that the majority of working companies in the local market tend to increase investments, especially with the steps taken by Saudi Arabia to ease pressure on the Saudi currency (Saudi Riyal) through reducing the volume of imports and moving from consuming to producing then exporting.

Experts added that there were several factors that urged companies to increase investments: the support given by the government of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to the sector, drop of prices of services offered to investors in the industry in addition to some incentives represented in establishing and developing industrial cities in various regions.

Saeed bin Zaqer, a member of Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON), told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that the “infrastructure of industrial economy in Saudi Arabia reached an advanced level thanks to the support of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.” He said the kingdom has been witnessing diversification in factories and a spread of more than 34 developed industrial cities located in Jeddah, Dammam, Riyadh, Mecca, Sudair and Medina.

He added that this power pushed several international companies in the local market to increase investment in the industrial sector. Bin Zaqer said this step proved the uniqueness of the Saudi market and its attraction of these investments.

Bin Zaqer added: “Saudi Arabia is on the right track of increasing its international share of domestic production especially after the previous steps taken to amend its position in the field of international exchange. In this way, the economy will be diversified and production will increase until we reach 2030 as an industrial power.”