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Saudi Arabia opens its doors to overseas entrepreneurs
As a part of Vision 2030 and Saudi Arabia’s goal to diversify the economy away from oil, the Saudi government have introduced the overseas entrepreneurs business license.
Recently, the Saudi government said they wanted to promote the growth of the small and medium sized enterprise (SME) sector and are doing so by facilitating overseas entrepreneurs to obtain business licenses to operate in the Kingdom.
These new licenses were announced at the Misk Global Forum annual gathering in Riyadh by Monsha’at, Saudi Arabia’s SME authority, the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA), King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) and the Economic Cities Authority (ECA).
At the time of the announcement, Minister of Commerce and Investment, Dr. Majid Al-Qassabi issued the first 11 licenses to entrepreneurs at the Misk Global Forum.
Preference for fast track licenses will be given to those bringing a patent, an innovative service or a new business idea to the country. The licenses will be issued by SAGIA or any one of the economic freezones, who offer large incentives, as much as free rent, transportation and subsidized housing.
“The new licensing initiative is designed to help build up the private sector, particularly SMEs, and move away from an over-reliance on oil revenues”, said Dr. Ghassan Ahmed Al Sulaiman, Governor of Monsha’at, speaking on the government’s endeavour to create a thriving start-up environment in Saudi.
“This initiative, inspired by Vision 2030, will help Saudi Arabia attract the best minds in the world, transferring knowledge, expanding the economy, increasing the contribution of small- and medium-sized companies to GDP and creating jobs for Saudis.
“We launched this at the Misk Global Forum’s annual gathering because it’s a global event bringing young leaders and established innovators together to focus on innovation and the knowledge economy.”