(MENAFN - Arab News) The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has set up a special committee to develop and facilitate investment procedures and attract funds to vital sectors that could create more jobs, said Abdullatif Al-Othman, governor of SAGIA.
"We are working on removing the obstacles facing quality investors. At the same time, we are trying to close all loopholes that would be exploited by others to get investment licenses," he told Al-Eqtisadiah Arabic daily.
"Saudi Arabia with all its economic potentials and investment attractions must focus on qualitative investment in order to add value to the national economy," he said.
Al-Othman said private investment should be encouraged to accelerate social and economic development. SAGIA is working on removing some of the negative aspects experienced in the past years while implementing the foreign investment law.
Since its inception SAGIA has issued 11,242 investment licenses. The organization is currently developing its data center and expanding its research capabilities as part of efforts to woo investment.]
He said most investments in the past were in conventional sectors that depend on intensive capital spending. "There was a semi-absence of investments that add value to the national economy, especially in vital economic sectors. This is a big challenge and we have to face it by opening new investment opportunities," he pointed out.
Al-Othman highlighted Saudi Arabia's lucrative investment climate, including state-of-the-art infrastructure facilities, high government spending and presence of successful banks and specialized funds.
Speaking about regional and international competition to attract foreign funds, the SAGIA chief said: "This has increased our responsibility to enhance the investment climate and make greater efforts to attract foreign funds, by easing regulations, improving services and developing infrastructure."
He said investments in the Kingdom would receive the highest returns while they have the lowest risk because of the Kingdom's political and economic stability. "This has increased the confidence of Saudi and foreign companies in the Kingdom and contributed to attracting more investments."
Al-Othman stressed the need for making joint efforts by various government departments to improve investment climate and attract foreign funds. "SAGIA and other government departments are making efforts to make the Kingdom a better place for investors." The government has been regularly revising its investment regulations.