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Investing in the Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia’s New Policies Affect Your Business Strategy6 min read

Author: Uwe Hohmann
Managing Partner, MBA Tax Law / Commercial- & Tax Consultant

In the wake of economic reforms and policy shifts, Saudi Arabia has established itself as an increasingly attractive destination for regional headquarters and international enterprises. The Ministry of Investment’s recently introduced mechanism for granting premium residency to executives is just one example of the Kingdom’s commitment to creating a business-friendly environment.

Multi-Ministerial Collaboration: Important Support

The Ministry of Finance’s pre-budget statement for 2024 signals a broad governmental support network that aims to eradicate challenges for prospective and established investors. These ministries aren’t working in silos; there is a notable collaboration between the Ministry of Investment, Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing, and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development. This approach helps to streamline bureaucratic procedures and create a more cohesive policy framework.

Special Permissions for Regional Headquarters

Businesses aiming to set up a regional headquarters within an existing branch in Saudi Arabia can look forward to a tailor-made exception mechanism. This paradigm shift from earlier policies paves the way for more flexibility in the organizational structure.

Employee Incentives: Beyond the Basic Visa

Speaking of the workforce, the employee incentives currently under implementation deserve particular attention. From customized visa arrangements to enhancing the work-life balance by enabling family members to work, the incentives are aimed at not just attracting but also retaining top talent. Most interestingly, the age limit for dependents has been extended to 25 years, a subtle yet powerful incentive for long-term residence and career planning.

Streamlining Business Records

The Ministry of Commerce is contributing to the ease of doing business by activating a special process for issuing commercial records for companies establishing regional headquarters. This is a clear move towards expediting formalities and reduction of bureaucratic obstacles.

Special Economic Zones: The Future of Investment

The launch of four Special Economic Zones in April 2023 aims to further bolster Saudi Arabia’s investment climate. These zones have already attracted over SR 47 billion (over EUR 12 billion) in the first half of 2023 in pivotal sectors, including maritime, mining, logistics, and technology. This indicates the country’s strategic focus on diversifying its economy beyond oil.

TME Services

TME Services is designed to help you mitigate these complex but rewarding business challenges. Our comprehensive services include everything from company setup, legal counsel, and accounting to visa acquisition and payroll management- all you need to maintain your business’s integrity in the Middle East. You can find the list of all our services here.

Takeaway

Saudi Arabia’s aggressive policy reforms represent a golden era of investment opportunities in the Middle East. Businesses can capitalize on these by understanding the intricacies of these reforms and how to navigate them effectively. Partner with TME Services to leverage our deep-rooted expertise and ensure that your venture in Saudi Arabia complies with the prevailing regulations and thrives in this flourishing ecosystem.

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