FDI project numbers into Saudi Arabia have been declining since 2011, according to greenfield investment tracker fDi Markets. During 2011, 167 inward investment projects were recorded, dropping 17% to 138 projects in 2012. The trend continued during 2013 and 2014, with declines of 10.9% and 28.5%, respectively.

With data now available for seven months of 2015 and a total of 47 projects being tracked, if the trend continues it is unlikely the country’s inward investment will surpass the 88 projects recorded in 2014. In the previous two years, the third and fourth quarters have experienced, when combined, only 72.95% of that tracked in first half of the year, signalling a potential lacklustre end to 2015.

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Job creation in Saudi Arabia as a direct result of FDI has also fallen. While an increase of 3.29% was recorded between 2011 and 2012, job creation subsequently decreased year on year with 2014 recording a value 22.07% lower than that tracked in 2012. So far during 2015 the figure stands at just 7245 jobs created across 37 separate investing companies.

Capital investment has also seen a decrease, year on year, of 60% between 2011 and 2013, representing a difference of $9.8bn. This, however, was followed by a strong recovery in 2014, which saw a capital influx of $9.97bn, a figure higher than that tracked in either 2013 or 2012.

For the data available in 2015, Saudi Arabia has received investments totalling $5.6bn. While unlikely to greatly exceed that recorded in 2014, it could be expected that the total for 2015 should broadly meet that tracked in the previous year – a small spark in Saudi Arabia’s otherwise bleak FDI landscape.