The Saudi deputy defense minister and head of the economic offset program, Emir Fahd Bin Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, recently stated that the Saudi economic offset program targets 22-billion Saudi riyals worth of investments ($5.86 billion)for the year 2001.
According to the London based Al-Hayat daily, Abdulaziz noted that so far, only four to five billion SR worth of investment projects have been launched within the framework of the economic plan, which requires that foreign investors enter ventures with Saudi partners.
Such joint ventures must thereafter reinvest a portion of the money received in Saudi Arabia. The most recent of these projects was a new petrochemicals manufacturing factory in Yanbu.
A UNCAD World Investment Report revealed that foreign direct investment (FDI) in Saudi Arabia for the year 1999 is valued at $4.8 billion, versus $4.2 billion and $3.1 billion in the previous years.
Although less than one percent of worldwide FDI enters the Middle East, Saudi Arabia receives the bulk of it in the region, with a total of $33.4 billion in stock so far. — (MENA Report)
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