Saudi Arabia’s foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows reportedly surged by 29.1% in Q3 2023 compared to the previous three months, according to the Saudi Central Bank.
FDI inflows reached SAR7.99bn ($2.13bn), rising from SAR6.2bn recorded in the previous quarter.
The announcement follows last year’s amendment of the country’s FDI calculation methodology by the government in Riyadh, showing that inflows doubled from 2015 to 2022. The new methodology took 18 months to develop and was launched in October with support coming from both the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Under the new methodology, FDI inflows grew steadily between 2015 (SAR413bn) and 2020 (SAR585bn) before recording a significant jump from 2021 (SAR670bn). In 2022, the figure stood at SAR775bn.
Saudi officials have been on a path to diversify the country’s FDI strategy, which in previous years had mostly relied on investments in the oil sector. In October 2021, the country laid out its National Investment Strategy, a plan meant to step up the contribution in the private sector, support the growth of strategic sectors, encourage innovation, and help develop local content.
“We are proud of the remarkable achievements made in the ‘Kingdom of Opportunities’ during the first phase of Vision 2030, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said at the time. “We will continue our work to pave the way towards a bright future enriched by a diversified and sustainable economy.”
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The National Investment Strategy aims for its FDI inflows to reach 5.7% of Saudi Arabia’s GDP. In 2023, that figure stood at 2.4%.