• 18 April 2023
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How Saudi Arabia’s New Economic Zones Will Transform the Kingdom and Attract Foreign Investors

How Saudi Arabia’s New Economic Zones Will Transform the Kingdom and Attract Foreign Investors

Four new special economic zones (SEZs) in Saudi Arabia have recently been launched in Riyadh, Jazan, Ras Al-Khair, and King Abdullah Economic City. These zones are part of the country’s ambitious Vision 2030 plan to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on oil revenues. The SEZs aim to attract foreign investors and create new opportunities for growth and innovation in sectors such as light industries, logistics, shipbuilding, marine services, downstream mining, food industries, cloud computing and digital economy.

The SEZs offer a range of incentives and benefits for foreign investors, such as:

  • Competitive corporate tax rates
  • 100% ownership of companies
  • Flexibility in employing foreign labor
  • Deferred custom duties on goods entering the SEZs
  • Expat levy exemption for employees and their families in the zones
  • VAT exemptions based on sector/activity criteria
  • Flexible and supportive regulations around foreign talent

The SEZs also provide access to an unparalleled geostrategic location at the heart of global trade routes. Saudi Arabia is situated at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe, and 13% of global trade passes through the Red Sea. The SEZs are connected to world-class infrastructure and the world’s most efficient port (as rated by the World Bank 2022).

The SEZs are expected to accelerate growth and increase the country’s export competitiveness. They are also expected to create thousands of jobs and contribute to the development of human capital and local content. The SEZs are part of Saudi Arabia’s vision to become a global business hub and a leader in innovation and sustainability.

The SEZs are open for registration and investment. Interested investors can visit the website of the Economic Cities and Special Zones Authority (ECZA) to learn more about the opportunities and requirements of each zone. The ECZA is the governing body responsible for regulating, developing and promoting the SEZs in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s new economic zones are a game-changer for foreign investors who are looking for a dynamic and attractive destination to expand their business and tap into new markets. The SEZs offer a unique combination of incentives, location, infrastructure and sectors that make them an ideal choice for investment and growth.


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