Buoyed by the ambitious objectives of the National Investment Strategy, the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) has signed 49 major investment deals worth at least $925 million in the second quarter of 2022.
This is set to create about 2,000 new jobs in diverse sectors such as advanced manufacturing, construction and real estate, ICT, tourism, entertainment and sports, says MISA’s Q2 2022 Investment Highlights report.
Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Investment, said: “The National Investment Strategy is a catalyst to deliver on our Vision 2030 national objectives of seeing the private sector contribute 65% to GDP and growing foreign direct investment to 5.7% of GDP. Despite global headwinds, we are seeing strong interest from global investors in diverse industries to partner with Saudi Arabia.”
Some of the major deals include a $133.3 million agreement between the Saudi Ports Authority and DP World to build a logistics park at Jeddah Islamic Port and a $37 million funding round led by global finance giant Mastercard into Saudi e-commerce firm HyperPay to expand the kingdom’s digital payment ecosystem.
Other investments reported by MISA are a strategic agreement with pharmaceutical multinational Novartis to grow Saudi Arabia’s biopharmaceutical capabilities, a $50 million investment by Aramco’s Wa’ed Ventures into Saudi fintech Wahed and a deal by Ma’aden to build the world’s largest solar-powered steam plant to be used to refine bauxite into alumina.
Alongside covering these and other deals, MISA’s Investment Highlights report analyses macroeconomic indicators and highlights investment opportunities available to local and foreign investors.
Rapidly growing tourism industry
The Q2 edition dedicates a special section to opportunities within Saudi Arabia’s rapidly growing tourism industry and the ambitions of the National Tourism Strategy. Al-Falih added: “The synergies between the National Investment Strategy and the National Tourism Strategy will see the development of a strong, attractive tourism product. While the global tourism industry remains subdued, tourism industry investors are showing strong interest in the potential of Saudi Arabia.”
Saudi Arabia’s tourism industry is attracting global attention, particularly, thanks to unlocked opportunities in mega and giga projects. The Red Sea Development Company signed deals in May with hospitality groups Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt and Rosewood to develop luxury resorts, while Radisson and Hilton also announced that they are looking to open 20 and 59 new hotels in the kingdom, respectively.
Building on this momentum, the kingdom’s national airline, Saudia, has announced that it is adding 94 new destinations to bring visitors to Saudi Arabia.
Mega and giga projects
In general, this Investment Highlights report expands on the kingdom’s economic diversification efforts under Vision 2030, business reforms pioneered by the National Investment Strategy and the new Companies Law and provides updates on the progress of mega and giga projects.
The report’s focus on tourism is led by insightful perspectives from Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism, as well as the Tourism Development Fund, Saudia Group, The Red Sea Development Project and the Diriyah Gate Development Authority. The report also features interviews with prominent investors and business leaders from organisations including Mastercard, Google Mena, and Khoshaim and Associates.