Minister of Industry and Electricity Dr. Hashim Ibn Abdullah Yamani reported today that the number of productive factories in the Kingdom had risen to 3,103 by the end of the first quarter of the year 1419 H [April 1998 to April 1999] with investments totaling SR 230 billion (U.S. $ 61.33 billion). Dr. Yamani stated that the current investment boom witnessed by the industrial sector is attracting businessmen to this vital sector, especially in the light of facilities offered by the Ministry, which has established new industrial estates as well as expanding existing industrial areas.
Dr. Yamani said the production of machines and tools is the largest sector, with 803 factories involving an investment of SR 20 billion (U.S. $ 5.33 billion). In terms of capital, the production of chemical and petroleum products leads the Kingdom's industrial sector with investments amounting to more than SR 150 billion (U.S. $ 40 billion) in 638 factories. There are 556 factories for non-mineral industries with a capital investment of SR 25 billion (U.S. $ 6.67 billion); 491 factories for foodstuffs, with investments of SR 15 billion (U.S. $ 4 billion); 183 plants for paper manufacture and publication ventures, with investments of SR 5 billion (U.S. $ 1.33 billion); 134 lumber factories, with investments of SR 2 billion (U.S. $ 0.53 billion); and 133 ready-made clothing factories with investments of SR 2.8 billion (U.S. $ 0.75 billion).