Many companies are eyeing Saudi Arabia’s large and relatively untapped market, and the kingdom is receiving plenty of interest and rapidly growing investment.
The presence of several thousand foreign investors and financiers worldwide at the recent FII conference in Riyadh is a good gauge of that interest.
In the meantime, while Saudi Arabia is holding on to its ultimatum that foreign companies must base their regional headquarters in the kingdom by January 1, 2024, or risk losing hundreds of billions of dollars in lucrative government contracts, on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s cabinet announced its approval of contracting regulations for firms that do not have regional headquarters in the country, Saudi state news agency SPA reported.
Even as foreign firms struggle to meet the deadline, the official statement from the cabinet meeting provided no details, leaving it unclear whether foreign companies without regional headquarters can still secure government contracts or face an absolute freeze.
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 aims to create private sector jobs and diversify its economy away from oil as the country’s population — more than 60% of whom are under 30 — booms. The kingdom’s regional HQ drive is a part of that.
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