Jeddah skyline Saudi Arabia
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.Experts said Saudi Arabia is witnessing a significant development and economic transformation amid COVID-19. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi: Experts said Saudi Arabia is witnessing a significant development and economic transformation, and the development of the industrial sector has become one of the priorities the government seeks to achieve, Saudi media reported.

Experts said new data issued by the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources revealed the number of new licenses for factories in June 2020 was 118, with a capital of 2.18 billion riyals.

Ibrahim Al Babtain, deputy head of the National Committee for Exports in the Council of Chambers, said, “With the relaunch of the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, at the beginning of 2020, growth indicators showed more factories were set up and Saudis were employed in production lines, quality, safety and other sectors of industrial businesses.

Incentives to industry

“This growth is attributed to providing incentives to factories and facilitating the procedures and supporting factories, including offering land and funding, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic , which made factory owners and investors to think outside the box, and thus contributed to alleviating this crisis and entering new areas to diversify the industry and provide sectors and government agencies with their needs of medical products, plastics and the food industry,” Al Babtain said.

Al Babtain stressed that the industries of medical and plastic products and the food industry have boomed very significantly to cover the Kingdom’s need during the COVID-19 crisis, and this was reflected in the localisation of jobs.

He added the initiatives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques government to support the salaries of the Saudis have reflected positively on significantly reducing the burden on the private sector.

Al Babtain said the investors’ appetite opened up after raising the customs duties on some commodities, as these commodities will gain better competition through their production in the Kingdom.

FDI in manufacturing

Al Babtain said that the foreign direct investments in the Kingdom is eight per cent, and mixed investments amount to eight per cent, while the total investments in the industry exceeds one trillion riyals.

Economic analyst Abdullah Baeshen said, “Saudi Arabia has 10,000 large, medium and small factories. In terms of foreign investments, the Kingdom is attractive in terms of geographical location and the availability of energy, natural resources and government support, and improved regulations.

Data released by the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources revealed that the number of new licenses for factories in June 2020 reached 118, and the capital of those factories amounted to 2.18 billion riyals.

The ministry said: The net number of existing industrial plants under construction up to the end of June 2020 amounted to 9,211, compared to 9,094.

The number of Saudi workers in the industrial sector increased during the month of June by 2,516 citizens, compared to a decrease in the number of expatriate workers by 519 workers.

Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Bandar bin Ibrahim Al Khorayef, said, “The results of the industrial sector in June augur well and reflect the positive impact of the government’s initiatives and incentives in dealing with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

Al Khorayef said on his twitter account these initiatives and incentives resulted in the creation of 2,516 jobs for Saudis, and investments worth 2.2 billion through 118 new licenses, expressing the hope it would be the beginning of recovery.