The Investment Forum in Special Economic Zones announced new investments of more than 27 billion riyals in partnership with the Saudi program to attract regional headquarters for international companies. From his side, Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Minister of Finance, revealed the provision of various tax incentives for investors in the economic zones and work on tax cuts for 20 years so that investors can plan for the long term.
In the regulatory framework session for the special Economic Zones during the forum held in Riyadh yesterday, in the presence of Eng. Ahmed Alrajhi, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, Nabil Khoja, Secretary of the Special Economic Cities and Zones Authority, Al-Jadaan said “that permanent exemptions from social insurance tax will be provided to the business owner and permanent exemption from value-added tax for transactions between companies in the economic zone and between companies in different economic zones”.
Al-Jadaan explained that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the only country that has obtained three positive ratings from the three rating agencies this year. Stating that the Saudi Vision 2030 journey that began seven years ago confirms that it is on the right path and that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is witnessing growth and momentum, in addition to private sector confidence.
He pointed out that the economic zones will enhance economic growth, achieve sustainable development, attract investment, create job opportunities, promote exports, and build productive capacities, and that the special economic zones program represents an important project for economic transformation in the Kingdom, indicating that its objectives and operations are fully compatible with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030.
The Saudi Authority for Special Economic Cities and Zones announced the signing of memorandums of understanding between the special economic zones of Ras al-Khair and Jazan, King Abdullah Economic City, the cloud computing and informatics special economic zone, the integrated logistics special zone, and the international one for cloud computing and informatics investors.
The authority revealed that the new investment value announced during the investment forum in the special economic zones in Saudi Arabia amounted to more than 27 billion riyals in partnership with the Saudi program to attract regional headquarters for international companies.
It pointed out that the four new special economic zones recently launched by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, have obtained official licenses and include the first cloud computing zone in King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in Riyadh. In addition to the special economic zones in King Abdullah Economic City, Ras al-Khair and Jazan.
Special economic zones constitute integrated logistical and industrial platforms centred on the investor to provide an exceptional investment experience and to consolidate the position of the Kingdom as a transit gateway to the Middle East and Africa and a link between the East and West markets.
In a related context, Engineer Ahmed Alrajhi, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, announced the special economic zones exemption from Saudization requirements, pointing out that the nature of the special economic zones aims to attract international companies in some industries in their early stages and want to move to the Kingdom.
He revealed that his ministry designed incentives through customized packages after a careful global and regional standards study to ensure that these incentives are competitive and flexible in the eyes of international investors.
He pointed out that one of the crucial incentives, perhaps for investors, is the exemption from the requirements of Saudization so that the special economic zones are not subject to the rules of Saudization compared to the basic economy.
Alrajhi indicated that, however, investors would get incentives from the Human Resources Development Fund if they choose to hire Saudis, and they will have the opportunity to benefit from the basic economy if they decide to do so too.
He pointed out that the special economic zones will work to attract international companies and expertise that will support local and international talents in Saudi Arabia, indicating that the workforce in the Kingdom is the most diverse in the world and includes more than 180 nationalities in the Kingdom in the current economic environment, through ten million workers. Pointing out that Saudis make up 25 per cent of the workforce.
He pointed out that most of the labour market strategy launched by the ministry, which includes 28 initiatives, has been implemented and has begun to bear fruit or is on its way to completion, indicating that the private sector has succeeded in three years to employ more than 500,000 citizens, most of whom are recent graduates.