Saudi Arabia is making significant strides in expanding its industrial sector, with foreign and joint investments totaling over SR542 billion ($144 billion). This represents 37% of the total investment seen in the industrial sector, according to the Saudi Press Agency. The country now has 930 factories with foreign investment, accounting for 9% of the total number of factories, and 924 factories with joint investments, representing 8% of the overall factories with investments totaling more than SR470 billion. As of May 2023, the total number of factories in the Kingdom’s industrial sector reached 10,910 with investments amounting to more than SR1.45 trillion.
The National Industrial Strategy, launched by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in October last year, aims to boost the sector’s growth and increase the number of factories to approximately 36,000 by 2035. The strategy’s main objectives are to increase the Kingdom’s industrial base, minimize imports by up to 50%, and work on exporting goods to regional and international markets. In line with the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030, the plan also intends to create an industrial economy that draws investment and helps achieve economic diversification by growing the domestic economy and non-oil exports.
As part of this strategy, the Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef recently announced that the Kingdom will offer 50 investment opportunities worth over $25 billion in the machinery and equipment sector. According to the ministry’s recent bulletin released earlier this month, the number of factories reached 10,518 in 2022, up from 8,499 operational units recorded a year earlier. Additionally, licenses were issued to 248 industrial units and 150 factories with an investment volume of SR2.2 billion were operational in the fourth quarter of 2022.