Foreign firms face new 75 percent 'Saudization' regulation

Published March 29th, 2016 - 09:00 GMT
SAGIA has given former investors two years to comply with the new regulations.  (AFP/Omar Salem)
SAGIA has given former investors two years to comply with the new regulations. (AFP/Omar Salem)

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has modified foreign investment regulations, one of which is to employ 75 percent of Saudis in these companies. 

The move by SAGIA aims to ensure that foreign investments play an effective role in strengthening the national economy, local media reported on Sunday.

As per the new regulations, the establishment must have a middle-sized classification and a minimum of 50 employees. The authority has set a two-year deadline, to implement the rules on foreign investment. 

The regulations stipulate that the minimum capital must be not less than SR35.5 million, while 10 percent must be managers or specialists and 15 percent technicians and employees, or vice versa. 

Regarding the issuance of investor or executive visas, the regulations stipulate that the company must have inventive activities, a patent for the products and a firm that exports its products.

The technical specifications and production process of all goods must be in compliance with Saudi, regional or international regulations. 

The regulations are now being applied to all foreign investors, including those who are expected to participate in the future or who have already obtained permits and invested in the Kingdom. 

The director-general of the company or the applicant for an investor permit must have the minimum level of college education, no criminal or commercial record or pending cases inside or outside the Kingdom, prove at least 10 years of experience in an executive or leadership position inside or outside the Kingdom and hold majority stake in the company. 

SAGIA confirmed that it has started applying these new regulations on all new investors since last month and that it a two-year deadline has been given to all former investors to comply with the regulations.

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