Saudi’s special economic zones: A global investor magnet

Kingdom launches first special economic zone for cloud computing investment
Saudi’s special economic zones: A global investor magnet
Saudi Arabia

According to the Saudi Economic Cities and Special Zones Authority (ECZA), four Saudi special economic zones have been granted official licenses, including the Kingdom’s inaugural special cloud computing zone. The four zones, namely Ras al-Khair, Jazan, King Abdullah Economic City, and the Cloud Computing Special Economic Zone, received a combined investment of over 27 billion riyals (equivalent to roughly $7.2 billion).

Read more: Why are Saudi’s four launched special economic zones important?

During his opening speech at the Saudi Special Economic Zones Investment Forum in Riyadh, Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih, Chairman of ECZA, emphasized that these regions are part of the country’s efforts to enhance its status as an investment hub and provide corporations with a platform to expand into new target markets.

Furthermore, he stated that the investment sector in Saudi Arabia surpassed 1 trillion riyals ($266.6 billion) for the first time in the country’s history in 2022, having grown by approximately 31 percent.

According to CNBC, Saudi Arabia’s special economic zones have attracted the attention of global investors from around the world who have already invested up to 19.6 billion Saudi riyals ($5.2 billion) prior to their official launch.

In April, the Kingdom launched four special economic zones aimed at developing and diversifying the Saudi economy, improving the investment climate, including a cloud computing zone described on the website of the Saudi Silicon Valley as an incubator for emerging and advanced digital technologies.

The global cloud computing market is expected to surge to $834 billion in 2027 from around $334 billion in 2021. Saudi Arabia aims to achieve a $10 billion cloud-computing market size by 2030, which is forecasted to attract up to $13 billion in foreign and domestic direct investments.

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