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Saudi Arabia to lift ban on 100 percent owned foreign retail

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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London - International brands and retailers will be delighted at the news that Saudi Arabia will lift its ban on 100 percent owned foreign retail in its territory from 2016.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) announced the news to US businessmen during a visit by King Salman to Washington on Sunday, allowing foreign investors to own 100 percent of retail and wholesale businesses.

The changes, due to come in next year, are understood to come with some conditions that will be announced at a later stage.

Currently maximum foreign ownership is 75 percent for retail and wholesale businesses.

SAGIA wants to attract more high-end investors into the kingdom to create white collar or technical jobs for Saudi citizens, as a sluggish economy caused by slow oil prices continues to make things difficult at home.

New foreign direct investment in Saudi Arabia fell to 9.3 billion dollars in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, from 12.2 billion dollars in 2012, figures from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development show.

Saudi Arabia