New methodology ups Saudi FDI to $33bn 

In 2022, Saudi Arabia recorded SAR 122 billion (approximately $33 billion) in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows using a revised methodology for calculating FDI. This new approach, which was developed over 18 months and received support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), focuses on analysing individual financial statements rather than relying solely on estimates to calculate the accumulation of FDI flows.

Under this revised methodology, the FDI inflow for previous years was also recalculated as follows:

  • 2015: SAR 64 billion
  • 2016: SAR 111 billion
  • 2017: SAR 27 billion
  • 2018: SAR 71 billion
  • 2019: SAR 32 billion
  • 2020: SAR 30 billion
  • 2021: SAR 100 billion

Additionally, the revised balance of FDI stock for previous years was recalculated as follows:

  • 2015: SAR 413 billion
  • 2016: SAR 508 billion
  • 2017: SAR 514 billion
  • 2018: SAR 562 billion
  • 2019: SAR 576 billion
  • 2020: SAR 585 billion
  • 2021: SAR 670 billion
  • 2022: SAR 775 billion

The Saudi Press Agency noted that the new methodology involved analysing data from more than 10,000 individual foreign companies, examining over 70,000 financial statements from 2015 to 2022.

Khalid Al-Falih, the Minister of Investment, emphasised that investors are increasingly confident in the Saudi market due to its size and strategic position, providing opportunities for growth across the Middle East and beyond. The revised data, along with investor outreach programs, aims to enhance the investment environment and attract more investors to the country.

Saudi Arabia has been actively working to attract more foreign direct investment, particularly in projects like Neom, a major new urban development. Neom recently launched the Neom Investment Fund (NIF), designed to attract significant investments to support the development of the city’s 14 priority sectors. This reflects Saudi Arabia’s commitment to promoting economic growth and investment opportunities.