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RIYADH: Sovereign AEI, a company specializing in helping businesses set up in the Kingdom, experienced a peak in activity.

“The start of this year has been very encouraging as we have seen a 40-50% increase in Saudi Arabia’s market entry activity, compared to pre-pandemic levels,” Stuart D ‘Souza, co-founder and CEO of Arabian Enterprise Incubators (AEI), one of the partner companies that make up Sovereign AEI, told Arab News.

As part of the ambitious Riyadh 2030 strategy announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman earlier this year, the government wants to attract up to 500 international companies to set up their regional bases in the city, creating around 35,000 new jobs for them. Saudi residents and double the population of the capital.

The strategy aims to invest up to SR 70 billion ($ 18.67 billion) in the national economy by the end of the decade. The strategy is already bearing fruit.

“Sovereign AEI is helping to facilitate this new strategy. Our products and services support the Riyadh 2030 strategy by helping new and existing businesses capitalize on the significant growth forecasts expected for the Kingdom, ”Paul Arnold, Managing Director of Sovereign Saudi Arabia, told Arab News.

CONTEXT

• The government wants to attract up to 500 international companies to set up their regional bases in the city, create around 35,000 new jobs for Saudi residents and double the capital’s population.

• The strategy aims to invest up to SR 70 billion ($ 18.67 billion) in the national economy by the end of the decade. The strategy is already bearing fruit.

“We also encourage companies to look to the future and establish a physical presence in the Kingdom, while taking into account the new criteria which will come into effect by 2024, the details of which have yet to be officially announced”, a- he added.

Sovereign has been operating in Saudi Arabia for about 20 years and AEI since 2012. They formed their joint partnership in 2019.

In 2019, the company helped 600 companies travel to Saudi Arabia to investigate potential opportunities. Half of them were first-time visitors and over 70% established new business connections in the Kingdom. On its own, AEI has helped more than 1,500 foreign companies enter, establish or expand in Saudi Arabia since 2012.

Last year, despite restrictions resulting from the pandemic, Sovereign AEI reported a 300% increase in business services in Saudi Arabia. The team expects this positive growth to continue in 2021.

“The Saudi market presents enormous opportunities. Most companies are now aware of the market potential, the main pillars of Vision 2030 and the significant number of economic reforms carried out over the past 18 months. However, charting a roadmap to success can be a challenge, ”said Arnold.

“Our principles are to educate, reduce risk, and enable the client to enter, settle or expand into the Kingdom. Our strong performance in the first quarter is a testament to the attractive nature of the Saudi market and we continue to see growing interest and a growing shift from customer focus to the Kingdom, as the country continues to unveil new strategic initiatives, ”a- he added.



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