Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Saudi Arabia quadruples FDI figure to $33bn in 2022

The Saudi investment ministry, based in Riyadh, said researching the revised FDI figure took 18 months Flickr/Anas Sidd
The Saudi investment ministry, based in Riyadh, said researching the revised FDI figure took 18 months
  • Saudi ranked 10th in G20
  • Changed methodology approved by IMF
  • Team analysed 70,000 financial statements

Foreign direct investment to Saudi Arabia amounted to $33 billion in 2022, the Saudi investment ministry said on Wednesday, revising a previous lower estimate of about $8 billion. 

The corrected Saudi number would rank Saudi Arabia 10th amongst G20 economies last year. It also puts Saudi Arabia far ahead of the UAE’s 2022 total of $22.7 billion. The two countries are in competition with each other to attract foreign investment. 

The Saudi ministry said in a statement that the updated statistics were based on a change in methodology it said had been approved by the International Monetary Fund and praised by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), whose annual World Investment Report is the standard source for FDI inflows. 

The updated figure, quadruple the previous number, used “an analysis of individual financial statements to produce highly accurate annual numbers,” it said, compared to the previous system using an “accumulation of flows based on estimates”. 

The Saudi figures revise statistics going back to 2015, before the Vision 2030 reform programme was launched in 2016 to diversify the economy away from oil. 

The Unctad statistics show FDI inflow of $8.14 billion in 2015, but the corrected Saudi number is $17 billion. Rather than a slump from a 10-year high of $19.3 billion in 2021 shown in the Unctad figures, the Saudi corrections show FDI slumping in 2019 and 2020 then shooting higher than a previous high of $29.6 billion in 2016. 

“The team went back through the information related to more than 10,000 individual foreign companies analysing more than 70,000 financial statements,” the statement said, adding that the research took 18 months to complete. 

The world’s biggest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia has the region’s largest economy with GDP of $1.1 trillion in 2022. 

The government expects GDP to slow sharply in 2023 to 0.03 percent, from 8.7 percent in 2022, due to oil output cuts aimed at keeping oil prices high in order to fund the kingdom’s massive development projects.

Latest articles

Alstom's upgraded passenger transit system will help reduce emissions at King Abdulaziz International Airport

Alstom to upgrade driverless transit system at Jeddah airport

French train maker Alstom will upgrade the automated and driverless passenger transit system at King Abdulaziz International Airport, as the Jeddah airport aims to receive 114 million passengers by 2030. As part of the contract, Alstom will design, engineer, supply, integrate, test and commission a complete system upgrade of its Innovia automated people mover (APM) at the airport’s terminal […]

The Al Dhafra solar PV project. Ewec plans to increase Abu Dhabi’s solar production capacity to 7.6 GW by 2030

Abu Dhabi to generate 50% power from green sources by 2030 

Abu Dhabi plans to generate more than half of its electricity from renewable and clean energy by 2030, a senior Emirates Water and Electricity Company (Ewec) official has said. The state-owned entity is increasing the emirate’s solar energy production plan to 7.6 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, the UAE state-run Wam news agency reported, quoting CEO Othman Juma […]

An Acwa Power solar facility in Saudi Arabia. The Bank Of China loan will help finance its solar projects in Uzbekistan

Acwa Power takes China bank loan in first for Saudi Arabia

Saudi energy major Acwa Power has secured an $80 million loan from the Bank of China as the appeal of the Chinese Renminbi as a trade currency gains traction in the GCC. Acwa Power, the world’s largest private water desalination company and a first mover into green hydrogen, has received the equity bridge loan to […]

Solar power panel

Cost of Xlinks Morocco-UK project balloons by a third

The cost of an ambitious project to deliver green energy from the south of Morocco to power homes in the UK has ballooned by more than a third to $30 billion. Xlinks First is behind the Morocco-UK renewables project, which would construct the world’s longest high-voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea power cable between the North […]