For Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom’s Economic Cities Authority (ECA) serves a double force: a facilitator and regulator dedicated to creating an investment-friendly environment.
This was the message that ECA Secretary General Mohanud Helal underscored during an event in Washington, D.C. addressing the investment opportunities offered by Saudi Arabia’s economic cities—and opportunities for enhanced partnership between U.S. and Saudi investors.
“This is a very exciting opportunity to present ECA and the progress that we have made in pursuing the economic cities agenda,” said Helal. “It is important that we convey to our colleagues at the U.S.-SABC the opportunities that the economic cities present to leaders in the U.S.”
Growth by the Cities
Helal’s remarks comes at the heels of the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC)’s recent announcement that it had achieved five years of profitability—yet another marker of the growth achieved under Vision 2030. To date, KAEC has signed contracts with more than 120 companies, including Renault, Sanofi and Total.
“We are profitable for the last five years and we are today at the highest cash position that we’ve ever been,” said Fahd Al Rasheed, KAEC’s chief developer. To date, the city has seen upwards of $10 billion in investments. The economic city will need roughly $100 billion to achieve its development goals.
These inroads are long in the making.
As Helal noted, the ECA continues to coordinate various international cooperation agreements to motivate an exchange of expertise and transfer of industries. Helal emphasized the Kingdom’s growing dedication to establishing public-private partnerships as economic policy. Helal concluded his presentation by inviting the U.S.-SABC and its members to visit the Kingdom and observe firsthand opportunities that will help Saudi Arabia attract more companies to invest in the Kingdom.
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