(MENAFN - Arab News) The first annual foreign investors' forum opened with the participation of 700 participants and government officials in Jeddah yesterday.
The event, organized by the Foreign Investment Committee (FIC) of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) is scheduled to discuss problems faced by foreign investors besides giving an opportunity to investors to come up with new ideas.
According to official figures more than 7,400 licenses involving SR552 billion investments were issued for foreigners until 2009. The study also said 4,000 investments were made in Jeddah.
The FIC serves as a liaison between investors and government departments and organizations governing foreign investments, according to JCCI's Assistant secretary general Mohyuddin Hakami.
"The annual Jeddah forum of foreign investors will have a big role to play in creating a climate of investment," he said.
FIC Chairman Mahdi Al-Nahari said the reason why Saudi Arabia is included among the economically advanced countries is because its market is always attractive to foreign investors. Opportunities for foreign investors in the Kingdom are plenty, he said. The unlimited governmental support and encouragement, security and stability are major factors that promote investments and economic progress, he said.
He added that the holy cities such as Makkah and Madinah also provided vast potential for investments especially in religious tourism.
The location of the Kingdom with openings to the Red Sea in the west and the Arabian Gulf in the east, and proximity to international shipping routes is another factor favorable to industrial investments in the Kingdom, he said.
Bandar Al-Harithy, director of projects' follow-up at the General Investment Authority, said the meeting opens the door of dialogue between foreign investors and the officials related to foreign investments in addition to solving the obstacles and difficulties faced by investors. The meeting also announced the launch of a website of the committee www.jcci-fic.org.