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Saudi Arabia issues licenses for the development of four new Special Economic Zones in the Kingdom.

At a major investment forum in Riyadh on the 29th May 2023, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia issued new licenses for four new Special Economic Zones which include major port and shipyard developments.

This came following Saudi Arabia’s Economic Cities and Special Zones Authority (ECZA), announcement of the four new business enclaves in April which are intended to drive economic and employment growth in the Kingdom.

Eng. Khalid Al-Falih, emphasized that the economic zones in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are integral to a comprehensive approach to enhancing the country's position as a leading global investment hub which places maritime development at the centre of its initiatives.

The four zones announced are as follows:

- King Abdullah Economic City

- Ras Al-Khair

- Jazan

- The Cloud Computing Special Economic Zone

SEZs are geographically delineated areas that support specific activities such as investment, trade and employment by providing competitive advantages and legislative frameworks that differ from the base economy. The new zones will draw on Saudi Arabia’s strategic location at the heart of global trade, creating hubs for businesses across key growth sectors to launch and scale the companies and technologies that will shape the future.

The Secretary General of ECZA, Nabil Khojah, highlighted that the newly established special economic zones have successfully attracted billions of riyals in investments within a record time. He expressed optimism that more investments will flow into these zones in the coming period.

These licenses demonstrate the Kingdoms commitment to cooperation as they build on Saudi Arabia’s key position in the heart of global trade. Saudi Arabia looks to further develop initiatives like this within its role as an IMO member state.

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