Image credit: Economic Cities and Special Zones Authority
Saudi Arabia’s new Special Economic Zones (SEZs), launched last month by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince, Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, have attracted $12.6bn from investors across maritime, mining, manufacturing and logistics, and tech, creating new value chains in the kingdom.
An additional $31bn in investments are in progress.
These announcement were made at the Saudi Special Economic Zones Investment Forum, which showcased the highlights of the four new SEZs.
The forum took place in Riyadh, bringing together Saudi ministers, industry leaders, policymakers, international investors, and other representatives from the business community.
The event, which saw the new SEZs licensed, was hosted by the Economic Cities and Special Zones Authority (ECZA), in partnership with the Saudi Program for Attracting Regional Headquarters of International Companies.
Engineer Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Investment and chairman of ECZA Board, said: “We are pleased to host leading global companies and investors in Riyadh. The forum has been a chance to demonstrate the significant opportunities the kingdom provides across a wide range of important sectors and industries. The stature of the global companies in attendance today is testament to the strength of Saudi Arabia as a global investment destination, and the strong investment proposition of each of the four new SEZs.”
Nabil Khojah, secretary general of ECZA, added: “The four SEZs are brand new, but have already attracted billions of Saudi riyals in investment, with more to come. This is an exciting moment for the kingdom and for all of us at ECZA, as we unveil new opportunities for global investors to capitalise on Saudi Arabia’s position as an economic powerhouse at the heart of global trade routes.”
Saudi’s four new SEZs are strategically located
The new zones – King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) SEZ, Ras Al-Khair SEZ , Jazan SEZ, and Cloud Computing SEZ – are strategically located across the kingdom. Together, they represent the initial phase of a significant long-term programme of special economic zones.
They also complement the Riyadh Integrated Special Logistics Zone, which was launched in 2022.
The Saudi SEZs include competitive corporate tax rates, exemption from customs duties on imports, production inputs, machinery and raw materials, 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies, and the flexibility to attract and hire the best talent worldwide.
The Regional Headquarters Programme was established in 2020 to invite global companies’ regional headquarters to relocate to Saudi Arabia.
It is a joint initiative between the Ministry of Investment and the Royal Commission for Riyadh City.