Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) Prince Abdullah Bin Faisal Bin Turki has announced that comprehensive service centers are to be established in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, starting operations early in September. These centers, he said, will be incorporated into the existing Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Referring to the recent conference in London, U.K., on investment opportunities in the Kingdom, he said it was highly successful because of the frank and direct discussions. Such conferences, he declared, are very useful in presenting a clear picture of Saudi Arabia in an atmosphere of openness in which foreign investors can express their views.
He went on to say that it is good that large multinational companies possessing technical, vocational and financial capabilities are attracted to infrastructure projects, since such investment is useful in assisting the transfer of sophisticated scientific technology into the country.
He added that SAGIA is currently preparing separate regulations on cooperative health insurance, and that once endorsed, these will be of help to companies seeking to enter this field.
Asked to comment about the financial services sector, he stated that at the moment this sector is governed by banking regulations. He anticipated, however, some opening up in the future. Indirect foreign investment in the Saudi capital market, he added, will not yet be allowed, since the latter should be seen as a place to raise finance, not for buying and selling shares.