Doing Business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Doing Business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Last updated on Saturday 24th April 2010

A quote from Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States:

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is dedicated to the concept of free trade based on competition. There are no foreign exchange controls, quantitative restrictions or tariff barriers. The long-term objective of the Saudi government's industrial policy is to diversify the Kingdom's economic base and to reduce its dependence on the export of crude oil. Since the early 1980s, the Saudi economy has been moving from the stage of building the basic infrastructure to the stage of production of goods and services.

"The Kingdom encouragescompanies to join with Saudi partners and provides the best climate for joint venture operations in the Middle East."

The Saudi government has built an excellent infrastructure within the space of two decades and this infrastructure has contributed markedly to the thriving business atmosphere in the country.

The government strongly supports the free market economy and encourages the production of Saudi-made goods. It also supports diversification in the industrial sector so as to lessen dependence upon the export of oil.

Substantial investments are made in developing Saudi manpower and insuring that economic cooperation is established on all fronts. Saudi talent is used, coupled with business and technical knowledge from throughout the world. The shortage of skilled Saudi manpower necessitates the recruitment of large numbers of expatriate labourers from many Asian and African countries.

The former Minister of Industry and Electricity has said:

"The whole country is like a free trade zone. There are no currency restrictions; capital moves freely in and out; there are no personal income taxes; there are ten-year tax holidays for manufacturing projects; raw materials and components are imported duty-free and the protection of private ownership is established in Islamic law."

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