Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — The foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into Saudi Arabia amounted to SR122 billion ($33 billion) during the year 2022, and this places the Kingdom on the 10th rank among the G20 economies last year. This figure was almost double to the value of FDI inflows in 2015 that accounted for SR64 billion ($17 billion).
These updated figures come as a correction to what was published under the previous report, which estimated them at about SR30 billion ($8 billion). This is within the framework of a new methodology for counting and publishing data that the country adopted during last month.
The new methodology, approved by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), relies on analyzing financial statements to reach highly accurate annual statistics, compared to the previous methodology, which relied on calculating the accumulation of flows based on estimates.
Minister of Investment Eng. Khalid Al-Falih said that the Kingdom is committed to creating an investment environment that is considered as the best in the world in all aspects, including working on a transparent and world-class methodology for compiling and calculating foreign direct investment statistics. “Investors are entering the Saudi market with confidence, because the Kingdom’s economy is the largest in the Middle East and the Arab world, and it is one among the 20 largest economies in the world. The Saudi market is characterized by rapid growth and strategic location, which provides an excellent platform for accessing active and growing markets throughout the Middle East and beyond,” he added.
The Ministry of Investment announced that, under the new, more accurate methodology, the balance of foreign direct investment reached SR775 billion ($207 billion) in 2022, which places the Kingdom on the16th place among the economies of the G20 countries. This represents a downward correction of the data that was estimated, under the previous methodology, about SR1 trillion ($269 billion), which accurately reflects, through the updated figurers, the reality of foreign direct investment in the Saudi economy, and confirms the extent of transparency followed by the Kingdom in calculating its indicators.
The new methodology and updated figures for foreign direct investment came after about 18 months of joint work between the Ministry of Investment, the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT), and the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), and after ensuring that they were in line with international best practices, represented by the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Guide, issued by the International Monetary Fund.
Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the updated data showed a positive and rising increase in the balance and flows of foreign direct investment in the Kingdom since the launch of Vision 2030”. It is noteworthy that the access to high-quality data is essential for monitoring investment performance, which represented about 25 percent of the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022, and is expected to reach 30 percent by 2030.