• Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia offers an attractive and relatively stable market for investment, particularly for investors that are able to overcome initial barriers imposed on foreigners. Saudi Arabia’s economy continues to expand at a healthy pace, achieving real GDP growth of 3.8% for CY2014. Improvement of the investment climate continues to be an important part of the new Saudi government’s broader program to liberalize the country's trade and investment regime, diversify an economy overly dependent on oil, and promote employment for a young population. The government encourages investment across nearly all economic sectors, prioritizing investments in industry, transportation, education, health, communications technology, life sciences, and energy; as well as in four "Economic Cities" that are at various stages of development. (Source: U.S. Department of State-2015 Investment Climate Statement- Saudi Arabia)

Macro economy: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil producer and exporter, and controls the world's second largest hydrocarbon reserves. It is the Middle East’s biggest economy. The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 80 percent of budget revenues, 45 percent of GDP, and 90 percent of export earnings. Economic diversification efforts focus on power generation, telecommunications, natural gas exploration, and petrochemical sectors. The Kingdom has also been welcoming foreign investors, starting with the opening of its stock market Tadawul to direct foreign investment in June 2015 and the annoncement in September 2015 that foreign investors would be able to own 100 percent of retail and wholesale businesses.

Islamic economy: Saudi Arabia is an Islamic Economy powerhouse. The oil-rich kingdom is ranked fifth in the Global Islamic Economy Development Indicator produced by Thomson Reuters. The ranking evaluates quality of the overall Islamic economy ecosystem a country has relative to its size. Saudi Arabia was ranked first for CSR, far above any other regional country; it ranked fourth in the index as the best developed Islamic economy for Islamic finance, and ranked sixth in the Global Islamic Finance Development Indicator. According to Thomson Reuters data, there are five Islamic Banks in Saudi Arabia, 11 Islamic banking windows, and the total Islamic banking assets stands at USD$338,106M. The kingdom has 171 Islamic funds with an Islamic Finance asset value of USD$264,345. (Source: ICD Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Report 2014) 

GIEI Ranking4
Halal Ranking1st in CSR Islamic Finance Development Indicator; 6th Overall Islamic Finance Development Indicator; 4th in Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI 2015)/Crescentrating
Major Industries


Petroleum Products

Machinery & Equipment



Motor Vehicles


Source: Central Intelligence Agency




Halal-related agencies Intro

Saudi Food and Drug Authority has information relevant to commercial interests in Halal products, as well as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and medical devices.

Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) maintains qualifications for consumer safety.

Halal compliance guidelines Intro
Halal-related trade and trading

Department of Halal Meat at the Muslim World League e-mail: info@themwl.org 


OIC member Yes
Other regional/global membershipsWTO, G20, United Nations, OPEC
Investment and Export Promotion Agencies Intro

SAGIA (Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority)

Saudi Export Development Authority (SEDA)

Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF), an independent entity within the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is one important source of financing for investors.

Investment and Export Promotion Agencies Names Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority
Trade Agreement

Saudi Arabia has a large number of trade agreements that are detailed on their What You Need To Know Page at SAGIA

Saudi Arabia has Investment Promotion & Protection Agreements with Austria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, and Taiwan. The Kingdom has cooperation agreements of varying scope with 36 countries, including an agreement on secured private investment with the United States that has been in place since February 1975. The United States and Saudi Arabia signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in 2003.

Company ownership limits
(foreign and local)

The Saudi authorities announced in September 2015 that foreign investors would be able to own 100 percent of retail and wholesale businesses.