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Saudi Arabia sees 1,131 new foreign companies setting shop in 2019

The fourth quarter was especially seen to be the busiest period with an increase of 305 companies from 238 in the previous year

A total of 1,131 new foreign companies established their operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia last year. This is a result of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority’s efforts to promote the Kingdom’s competitiveness through the Invest Saudi platform. 

The number of new foreign companies in the Kingdom have increased by 54 percent compared to 2018 data. With that, 2019 has been a performing year for the Kingdom’s business landscape. 

The fourth quarter was especially seen to be the busiest period of the year. The number of new foreign companies increased to 305 from 238 in the fourth quarter of 2018, the local media reported.

Last year, the new companies that began operations in the Kingdom were from different geographical locations. It seems that 100 companies were from the UK and 82 of them from the US, compared to a total of 24 companies from both countries in 2018. India, Egypt, Jordan and China were also popular countries from where companies established their bases in the Kingdom. India’s role in fostering business in the Kingdom increased with 140 companies in 2019 from 30 in 2018. 

Of the total foreign companies, 69 percent of them had full foreign ownership while 31 percent were joint venture partnerships with local investors. 

Ibrahim Al-Omar, governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, told the media that, “Guided by Saudi Vision 2030, our country is undergoing a remarkable economic transformation. The continued prosperity of the Kingdom depends on sparking innovation, attracting foreign investors and empowering the private sector. The positive growth numbers that we have seen in the final quarter of 2019 — and indeed throughout the entire year — represent a significant milestone on the road to 2030.” 

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