Emirates NBD, a leading bank in the region, has been recognised as the largest financial services contributor to foreign direct investment (FDI) in Saudi Arabia in 2010, by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). The award was presented to Emirates NBD at a special ceremony on the final day of this year’s annual Global Competitiveness Forum, sponsored by SAGIA and held in Riyadh from the 22nd to 25th January 2011.
On accepting the award for largest contributor to FDI in the Finance Services and Insurance Category, Mohammed Al Hegelan, Country Manager-KSA, Emirates NBD, said: “We are honoured to receive this award, and would like to thank the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority for this recognition”. “Despite challenging conditions globally, Saudi Arabia continues to provide attractive opportunities for investors due to its well-developed infrastructure and pro-business economic environment.” He added.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been rated as the 13th most economically competitive country in the world, according to the International Finance Corporation (IFC)-World Bank annual "Doing Business" report for 2010. According to the report, this high ranking is due to economic reforms introduced by the government in recent years, which make it easier for companies to do business in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom itself was ranked eighth largest recipient of FDI inflows in the world during the same period.
“Saudi Arabia has always played an important part in our international expansion strategy,” continued Hejelan. “In addition to our strategically positioned branch in Riyadh, which provides a full range of products and services, Emirates NBD has further plans to expand its operations in the Kingdom with new initiatives to be announced later in the year.”
The award was based on the National Competitiveness Centre’s annual survey of foreign or joint-venture companies in the Kingdom and Emirates NBD was named the largest contributor of FDI in 2010 among all finance services and insurance providers.
The Global Competitiveness Forum is held in Saudi Arabia every year, bringing together industry leaders and policy-makers from across the globe. Its focus is on concerns and debates on how the region can become more economically competitive, highlighting progress and developments in this area.