Saudi Arabia has issued a royal order banning government entities from awarding contracts to foreign consultancy firms, local media reported.
Under the order, all the government departments in the kingdom are obliged to offer contracts to Saudi consultancy offices and companies.
They are only allowed to take the services of foreign consultancy companies if “there is no Saudi expertise” available to provide the required services, Saudi Gazette reported.
The decree was based on a decision of the general secretariat of the council of ministers following a study on the issue.
The move comes after Saudi’s Shoura Council discussed the topic some years ago and later made a recommendation to provide more consultancy work for Saudi firms, the report said.
The value of contracts to foreign firms was estimated at around SAR12bn at the time, the Saudi Gazette said, quoting the General Auditing Bureau.
Shoura Council members said at the time that there were several Saudi research centres operating under the umbrella of universities or the private sector that benefit from such contracts.