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  • Ahmed Saleh

Ministry of Investment presents new FDI statistics methodology for the Kingdom

Riyadh, November 08, 2023, The Ministry of Investment unveiled the latest foreign direct investment (FDI) statistics for the Kingdom, employing a newly adopted methodology for data collection. This updated approach, endorsed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and lauded by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), leverages the analysis of individual financial statements to provide highly precise annual FDI statistics. This method represents a departure from the previous practice, which relied on estimates to calculate the accumulation of flows.

The development of this new methodology and the subsequent FDI figures emerged from almost 18 months of concerted efforts between the Ministry of Investment, the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT), and the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia (SAMA). It was paramount to ensure that this new approach aligns with international best practices, as outlined in the IMF's Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual.

In the course of updating the data using the new methodology, the team dedicated itself to meticulously analyze the financial data of over 10,000 individual foreign companies, scrutinizing more than 70,000 financial statements spanning the period from 2015 to 2022. This meticulous effort yielded the following updated FDI results:

- FDI stock in the Kingdom from 2015 to 2022, depicting consistent growth.

- FDI inflows in the same period, demonstrating substantial increases.

These revised figures underscore a positive and escalating trend in FDI inflows into Saudi Arabia, even in the face of challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, according to the new and more precise methodology, FDI reached 775 billion Saudi Riyals (US$207 billion), positioning the Kingdom as the 16th among G20 economies. This corrects previous estimates, which were approximately 1 trillion Saudi Riyals (US$269 billion) under the former methodology.

Furthermore, FDI inflows, as calculated under the new methodology, amounted to 122 billion Saudi Riyals (US$33 billion), marking a significant increase compared to previous estimates of around 30 billion Saudi Riyals (US$8 billion). This progress places Saudi Arabia 10th among G20 economies in 2022.

Khalid Al-Falih, the Minister of Investment, affirmed the Kingdom's commitment to creating an exceptional investment environment. He emphasized that the updated data, generated through the new methodology, will strengthen Saudi Arabia's appeal to investors and support its role as a pivotal platform for growth opportunities in the Middle East and beyond. The Ministry's endeavors are aimed at providing transparent and accurate indicators for both local and international investors.

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