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How Saudi Arabia is set for economic-growth boom

RIYADH: For around 30 years, entertainment venues, from cinemas to concert halls, were bolted shut across Saudi Arabia, depriving citizens and visitors of outlets to enjoy cultural, sporting and artistic activities in public.

All that began to change in 2016 with the establishment of the General Entertainment Authority as part of the Kingdom’s wide-ranging social and economic reform agenda, Vision 2030.

The General Entertainment Authority was established to help drive ahead the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil, allowing it to become a global leader in the creative, leisure, tourism and hi-tech industries.

Now, Saudi citizens and international visitors, no matter their level of income, can enjoy a whole host of entertainment options previously denied to them, improving their quality of life and the Kingdom’s appeal as a work and investment destination.

Within just five years, the GEA has issued 2,189 licenses and 1,809 permits allowing more than 2,500 companies to launch home-grown entertainment ventures. The sector has already created more than $1 billion in profits and attracted over 75 million visitors.

Moreover, how Saudi Arabia is set for economic-growth boom Kingdom’s decision to halt business with international companies not headquartered in it will accelerate economic growth across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), said panellists. At Construction Week Leaders’ Summit Saudi Arabia’s decision to cease doing business with international companies whose regional headquarters are not based within the kingdom, in line with the country’s transformative vision for the future, will accelerate economic reform across the GCC,.

Coming into effect on January 1, 2024, the new policy will encourage foreign firms to open a permanent, in-country regional presence. In turn, this will help create employment opportunities for Saudi nationals and grow investment opportunities in key sectors of the non-oil economy, according to Saudi law firm, HMCO.

According to the panellists, the new policy will bring about long-term value-creation from investors, due to increased investment in training and development of local talent. International construction companies, who often set up temporary branches in Saudi primarily to take up specific government projects and leave once the project is delivered, will be encouraged to partner with local companies – a significant step in safeguarding the kingdom’s privatisation plan.

A Purchasing Managers’ Index compiled by IHS Markit rose to 58.6 in September from 54.1 during the previous month, the largest monthly gain in points on record. The acceleration was mainly attributed to faster growth in new orders.

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