Saudi To Build Two More Economic Cities


The two economic cities will be built in the Northwest of the Kingdom and in the Eastern Province, announced Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).


“The impact of these six economic cities by 2020 is $ 150 billion in contribution to GDP growth, 1.3 million jobs to be created, and to accommodate 4.8 million of the total population,” Amr Al-Dabbagh said.


Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah had laid the cornerstone for the construction of four mega economic cities last year in Saudi Arabia in the areas of Rabigh, Madinah, Hail, and Jazan. King Abdullah is expected to lay the cornerstone for the fifth economic city during his visit to the Tabuk region next month.


Al-Dabbagh said SAGIA was studying the possibility of launching a Japanese village in the King Abdullah Economic City that will host the needs of the Japanese corporations within an environment that suite the needs of businessmen.


“Part of our facilitation efforts means reaching out to investors in their own languages. Our policy at SAGIA is that all presentations given to investors in countries in which we have offices should be in the local languages, and should incorporate symbols of local strategic value,” he said.


Speaking at the Saudi Arabia-Japan Business Forum, the governor said that that the vision of SAGIA is to position Saudi Arabia in the top 10 most competitive countries in the world in terms of investment by the year 2010.


He mentioned that besides investment opportunities in the petrochemical sector, these economic cities would accommodate industries in steel, plastic, glass and ceramic. “There is a $ 300 billion worth of investment opportunities for Japan in this sector,” he said.


Another area of potential investment in the Kingdom was in the transportation sector (air, sea, railway, and land) where investment opportunities were estimated at $ 100 billion, said Al-Dabbagh


Investments in knowledge-based industries such as education, health and science were worth another $ 100 billion, according to Al-Dabbagh. “By the end of 2007, we expect the total investments in the Kingdom to increase from $ 253 billion in 2006 to $ 300 billion,” he said.


Prime Minister Abe lauded the economic steps taken by the government of Saudi Arabia to attract foreign investment, adding that the Kingdom had overcome several challenges by joining the World Trade Organization, building economic cities, and diversifying its economy.

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