Riyadh / Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s investment minister Khalid al-Falih on Saturday said foreign direct investment (FDI) had increased by 12% in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year.
The Saudi government, which is hosting the G20 summit this year, has made the attraction of greater foreign investment a cornerstone of its Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy of the world’s largest oil exporter, away from oil revenues.
“I am pleased to say that FDI, my area of focus, increased by 12% in the first half compared to last year,” Falih, former chairman of state oil company Saudi Aramco, told a G20 conference said.
Falih said in September this year, the kingdom experienced a slowdown in FDI due to the global disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When I mentioned the 12% increase, I wanted to assure people that there was no decline, our FDI target is much higher,” Falih said on Saturday.
As part of efforts to attract foreign investors, Saudi Arabia will start special economic zones next year dedicated to various sectors, Falih said.
In addition to higher investment volumes, he will also focus on ‘qualitative growth’, he mentioned areas such as cloud computing, renewable energy, tourism, culture, entertainment and logistics.
“These investments may have lower investment volumes, but a greater impact on the economy.” Saudi Arabia is chairing a two-day summit this weekend of leaders from the 20 largest world economies, which will debate the handling of a pandemic that caused a global recession and how to manage the recovery once it is under control. .
Falih said the Saudi economy, hit by the double blow of the pandemic and lower oil prices, had shown resilience this year and had a proven ability to withstand shocks.
Source: Gulf News