Saudi Arabia taps IMF for FDI reporting methodology

Saudi Arabia has partnered with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to enhance the quality and transparency of its foreign direct investment (FDI) statistics, with the aim of aligning them with global best practices. The Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia, the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT), and the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia have collaborated on implementing a new methodology for FDI reporting, as reported by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih emphasized that this initiative is part of the ongoing efforts to improve data accuracy and transparency in Saudi Arabia. These improvements are part of the broader reforms and upgrades taking place in the country, aligned with its Vision 2030 and National Investment Strategy.

The goal is to provide greater transparency and accuracy in Saudi Arabia’s FDI statistics, enabling investors to make more informed decisions. Al-Falih noted that the Kingdom aims to attract more global investment, highlighting its attractiveness as a top investment destination in the region due to its impressive performance in capital formation and FDI.

GASTAT’s president, Fahad Abdullah Aldossari, explained that the new FDI methodology is IMF-approved and aligns with its Balance of Payments Manual. It is expected to enhance the accuracy and reliability of FDI data. The improved statistics will enable decision-makers to design policies that foster an attractive investment environment and showcase investment opportunities within the Kingdom.

Saad Alshahrani, the deputy minister for Economic Affairs and Investment Studies, emphasized the importance of accurate data not only for measuring progress and development but also for monitoring and improving the local economy and investment performance. Over the past two years, the ministry has diligently reviewed the financial statements of numerous businesses, creating data files to determine investment priorities and monitor sector-specific performance and the countries investing in Saudi Arabia.

In its recent Article IV consultation, the IMF expressed support for Saudi Arabia’s efforts to refine FDI data compilation according to international standards, guided by recent statistical manuals and with assistance from the IMF. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development confirmed that the new methodology aligns with international standards set out in the IMF’s Balance of Payments Manual, while the World Bank supports the IMF’s recommendations in its technical assistance report on Saudi Arabia.