Leading multinational companies set to enter Saudi retail sector

The volume of trade exchange between the Saudi Arabia and US reached SR60 billion

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Several leading multinational companies have come forward to enter the Saudi Arabia’s retail sector, according to Abdullatif Al-Othman, governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).

“An expert committee, comprising representatives of the ministries of labor, and commerce and Industry, as well as SAGIA, has almost finished the studies in this regard, and the committee will present the report, consisting of specific recommendations with regard to the criteria for these companies to enter fully in the retail market, will be presented by the end of this month,” he said.

Al-Othman made these remarks while addressing a press conference in Riyadh on Tuesday on the sidelines of the “Fourth Saudi-US Business Opportunities Forum.”

The SAGIA chief said that there would be variations in the criteria for different companies.

“Some of these companies would enter directly in the market to offer services while some others will sell their products. There are some producing companies, which will not sell their products directly to the consumers but through commercial agencies while some of the companies will engage in retail sale of the products to the consumers,” he said adding that SAGIA aims to triple the volume of foreign investments over the coming three years.

Muhammad Al-Jasser, advisor at the royal court, said that the volume of trade exchange between the Saudi Arabia and US reached SR60 billion and it is not SR20 billion as it was reported earlier.

Earlier, Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al-Rabiah opened the forum, organized by the ministry, in which several senior government officials and business leaders from both the countries are attending. The forum aims at promoting the new strategic partnership between the two countries to live up to the requirements of the 21st century in various fields.

Addressing the forum, Minister of Finance Ibrahim Al-Assaf said that the growth of the world economy is still less than expectations, as the outlook for global growth has slowed since October 2015 across the world.

He noted that recent months have seen high volatility of global financial markets, which led to restrict funding in the global financial markets, especially for emerging markets.

This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on March 23, 2016.

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