Riyadh – Mubasher: Saudi Arabia will no longer sign contracts with foreign companies that do not have a regional headquarters in the kingdom after 2023, Reuters reported citing the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The policy, which comes into effect on 1 January 2024, aims to encourage foreign firms to open a permanent, in-country regional presence that would help create local jobs.
“The decision ... will reflect positively in the form of creating thousands of jobs for citizens, transferring expertise, and localising knowledge, as it will contribute to developing local content and attracting more investments to the kingdom,” Minister of Investment, Khalid al-Falih, stated later via Twitter.
The kingdom’s decision, however, will apply only to contracts offered by the government.
“If a company refused to move their headquarters to Saudi Arabia it is absolutely their right and they will continue to have the freedom to work with the private sector in Saudi Arabia, but as long as it is related to the government contracts, they will have to have their regional headquarters here,” Minister of Finance, Mohammed al-Jadaan, told Reuters.
Some sectors will be exempt from the decision, and detailed regulations will be issued before the end of 2021, al-Jadaan noted.