Saudi to allow 100% foreign ownership of engineering firms – report

Saudi already allows foreign investors to 100 per cent own retail and wholesale firms

Saudi authorities are reportedly moving ahead with a proposal to allow 100 per cent foreign ownership of engineering firms.

Arab News reports that the decision comes following a year of consultation by the Commerce and Investment Ministry and the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (Sagia).

In order to qualify for foreign ownership firms must have a 10-year track record in operations and already have a presence in at least four other countries, according to the publication.

However, Sagia can wave some of these restrictions if it is considered to be in the kingdom’s interest.

Saudi last year moved to allow foreign investors to 100 per cent own retail and wholesale firms but still has restrictions in sectors including military and security, media and telecommunications.

Read: Saudi Arabia to allow full foreign ownership in retail

The full details of the proposal are expected to be finalised in a week, according to the publication.

Other requirements in terms of minimum investment, the employment of nationals and commitments in research and development and training are likely to be part of the plans, it said.

The move comes as part of diversification efforts under the Vision 2030 plan, which has also seen the kingdom consider self employment for foreigners and other reforms, according to reports.

Read: Saudi considers self employment for foreigners if they pay tax