Saturday, 04 December 2021

44 companies to open regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia

44 companies to open regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia riyadh

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia said it had licensed 44 international companies to set up regional headquarters in Riyadh's capital under the kingdom's push to become a regional commercial hub and vie for foreign money and talent.

A press release said, among the 44 companies are multinationals in technology, construction, and beverages, consulting, and food, including Unilever, Siemens, and Baker Hughes.

In February, the world's top oil exporter and largest Arab economy said it would give foreign companies until the end of 2023 to set up headquarters in the country or risk losing out on government contracts.

The progress is part of an effort by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to remove the economy from oil production by creating new industries that also generate jobs for Saudis, which has put the kingdom in tiff competition with regional business hubs like the United Arab Emirates.

Fahd al-Rasheed, the president of Royal Commission for Riyadh City, said in a statement.

The new headquarters would add $18 billion (67 billion riyals) to the economy and provide around 30,000 jobs by 2030,

Rasheed told Reuters that he expects the 44 companies to move to Riyadh within a year, adding some had already moved. He said the target was for 480 firms by the year 2030.

44 companies to open regional headquarter Saudi Arabia riyadh 1unsplash image

Read More: Saudi Arabia Financially helped Pakistan with $3 billion

The kingdom earlier year said 24 companies had signed a deal to establish main regional offices, including Bechtel, Schlumberger, Deloitte, PwC, and PepsiCo, rather than oversee operations remotely from UAE's Dubai emirates.

He told Reuters on Wednesday.

"We are simply saying you need to have your regional headquarter in Saudi because this is not simple a contract economy that you come in and come out all the way. We wanted to see you with us for the long period,"

Rasheed defined regional headquarters as housing all primary decision-making functions, but it was unclear how all firms determine headquarters in Saudi.

Saudi Arabia has launched social reforms and economics to make the kingdom a more accessible place to live and work and has cut the red tapes that long discouraged firms.

One example was a kingdom's sudden move in May 2020 to triple its value-added tax rate. Some said that issues around negotiating electricity tariffs would make it much harder for manufacturers to relocate than financial companies.

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