Research Reports

Foreign Companies in Saudi Arabia: Present and Prospects

October 07 , 2020

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Executive Summary

With an aim to increase the Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) from less than one percent to 5.7 percent of the GDP in 2030, Saudi Arabia adopted a number of programs that could attract foreign entities. The Saudi Vision 2030 plan that largely pivots around increasing the private sector's role in the economy has reinforced the business environment and could likely increase the participation of foreign companies and improve business competition.

Key Insights

  • With 100% foreign ownership allowed, number of Greenfield investments in Saudi Arabia steadily increased and reached a 7-yr high in 2019.
  • Did you know that KSA has made significant advancements in 'protecting minority investors', it ranks third in the world, only behind New Zealand and Singapore.
  • Saudi government allocates the second largest share of its budget towards education after defence and security.
  • Saudi Arabia plans to carry out several large-scale projects providing number of opportunities for the global entities.
  • Potential opportunities exist in the field of healthcare and education

Key Questions

  • How have the foreign firms' grown over the years in Saudi Arabia?
  • Which sectors are lucrative to tap? What opportunities does Saudi Arabia offer?
  • Which global MNCs are yet to make their presence in Saudi Arabia and the wider GCC region?
  • What has been the progress made by Saudi Arabia to ease doing business?
  • What challenges do foreign firms typically face in Saudi Arabia?


Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Foreign Companies present in Saudi Arabia
  • Foreign companies yet to set foot in the country
  • Foreign companies yet to set foot in the GCC
  • Ease of doing business progress
  • Attractive fields for investments
  • Challenges faced by foreign companies in Saudi Arabia
  • Conclusion

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