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Saudi launches 4 economic zones to attract global firms

People, Person, Man Reuters/Saudi Royal Court
Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammad bin Salman said the new SEZs will create thousands of jobs and contribute billions to the economy

Saudi Arabia has launched four new special economic zones (SEZs) to bolster its position as a global investment destination.

The new zones will come up in Riyadh, Jazan, Ras Al Khair and King Abdullah Economic City, state-run SPA news agency reported.

Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammad bin Salman said the new economic zones will significantly impact how business is done in the country, creating thousands of jobs and contributing billions to the economy.

They will support key sectors, including logistics, advanced manufacturing, technology and other priority areas.

Benefits for companies operating in the zones include competitive corporate tax rates, exemption from customs duties on imports, production inputs, machinery and raw materials.

Among other advantages are 100 percent foreign ownership of companies and flexibility to attract and hire talent from across the world.

The Crown Prince emphasised that the new zones will provide “tremendous opportunities” to develop the local economy and localise supply chains.

“They represent a continuation of the kingdom’s long-running initiatives to transform into a global investment destination, and a vital hub for global supply chains, capitalising on its position at the heart of global trade routes, at the crossroads between East and West,” he added.

These also build on previous free zone initiatives of the government, including the recent launch of the integrated logistics special zone at King Salman International Airport in Riyadh.

The Economic Cities and Special Zones Authority will regulate the economic zones, the report said.