Saudi Arabia is the largest free-market economy in the Middle East and North Africa, accounting for 25% of total Arab gross domestic product. Its location provides easy access to export markets in Europe, Asia and Africa while it has a continuously expanding domestic market (annual population growth of 3.5%), which is adding to a young and consuming population with strong buying power.

Saudi Arabia has an impressive record of political and economic stability and has a modern, world-class infrastructure. The investment environment reflects traditions of liberal, open market private enterprise policies and investment law allows 100% foreign ownership of projects and real estate. There are no restrictions on forex and repatriation of capital and profits. It is among the few countries to allow companies to carry forward losses indefinitely – effectively relieving businesses of their tax burden until they become profitable. It does not impose personal income tax; and labour costs in almost all areas are low.

Saudi Arabia is also committed to increasing private sector participation in economic growth and a host of sectors are being opened to the private sector, with telecommunications, electricity, airlines, postal services, railways, port services and water utilities all potential areas for investment. It has the world’s largest oil reserves (25%) and has other natural resources, including bauxite, limestone, gypsum, and phosphate and iron ore.

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