Saudi Arabia reports 428% surge in factory investment

RIYADH (Agencies): Saudi Arabia issued 307 new factory licenses during the first three months of this year representing a total investment of SR17.72 billion ($4.73 billion), government figures have revealed.

The number compared to 240 licenses issued during the same period last year, an increase of 27.92 percent year-on-year, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources’ official website.

In terms of investment, SR3.352 billion was pumped in over the same period in 2020, meaning there was a 428.6 percent increase in total investment in the industrial sector during the first quarter (Q1) of this year.

The new licenses take the total number of industrial establishments in the Kingdom to 9,958. In a recent tweet, the ministry said that 141 of the new factories issued licenses had begun production during Q1.

In a breakdown of the figures, 114 factory licenses were issued in January, with an investment value of SR1.63 billion. February saw another 91 factories licensed, worth SR857 million, while March witnessed a huge surge of 102 factory licenses backed by SR15.23 billion in funding.

The government is aiming to increase local production in order to help the country become more self-sufficient and in April it launched the Made in Saudi initiative which is targeted at supporting national products and services at local and international levels.

Dr. Osama Ghanem Al-Obaidy, economic adviser and international economic law expert, told Arab News that the initiatives formed part of the government’s bid “to transform Saudi Arabia into a leading industrial power.”

He said: “Development of this sector is one of the pillars of Saudi Vision 2030 to create a competitive economy and sustainable development.

“Saudi Arabia aims at developing promising industries in food, medicine, and medical supplies, as well as military industries, and industries relating to oil, gas, and petrochemicals, mining, and chemicals,” he added.