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Saudi Arabia sets up investment promotion agency

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Saudi Arabia has set up an agency to promote investment in the country, a key goal of an ambitious economic reform agenda, the investment minister and state media said on Twitter, citing a cabinet decision.

The Saudi Investment Promotion Authority “will be a strong supporter of the investment system in its quest to achieve the objectives of the #national_investment_strategy by attracting and developing national and foreign investments,” Investment Minister Khalid al-Falih wrote in Arabic on Twitter.

Attracting foreign investment is a key part of Saudi Arabia's “Vision 2030” plan to transform the top oil exporter's economy and cut reliance on hydrocarbon revenues.

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The investment ministry said last week that foreign direct investment (FDI) was up 9.5 percent year-on-year in the first quarter to nearly $2 billion.

FDI in 2021 topped 72.3 billion riyals ($19.3 billion) versus 20.2 billion in 2020, helped by a $12.4 billion deal by oil giant Aramco to sell a stake in its oil pipelines network.

The National Investment Strategy, a broad plan that seeks to attract more than $3 trillion in investment into the domestic economy by 2030, aims to bring in more than $100 billion in FDI annually by the turn of the decade.

The investment ministry said in a tweet that the new agency's mandate included enabling “integration and cooperation between entities” and leading the “Invest Saudi” brand and digital platform.

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