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Saudi streamlines investment licence process

Saudi streamlines investment licence process

Licences can now be issued in just hours

Saudi Arabia has shortened the time it takes to issue investment licences to less than four hours as it seeks to lure foreign money.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) previously took an average of 53 hours to issue licences but was able to reduce this by restructuring the process and reduce the required documents.

Instead of eight documents, now only two are required – financial statements and commercial registers attested by the Saudi embassy where the company is located – according to local reports.

Licences can also now be renewed through a portal on the SAGIA website.

The authority said it had issued 17 licences over the last two weeks.

The streamlined process comes as the kingdom seeks to lure foreign investors as part of its Vision 2030 reforms.

These include plans to list 5 per cent of state oil giant Aramco this year in an IPO government officials say could generate $100bn.

Read: Russian investors offer to buy Saudi Aramco stake

It also follows a November corruption purge that has shaken some foreign investors after hundreds of royals, businessman and former government officials were detained and forced to handover settlements in exchange for their release.

Read: Saudi winds down corruption purge but scars linger

Earlier this month, SAGIA also unveiled an entrepreneur licence allowing new companies to benefit from small and medium enterprise services and incentives.

Read: Saudi unveils new entrepreneur licence

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