* Talal Al-Sayah from Riyadh
Foreign investments in Saudi Arabia rose by the end of 2018, according to preliminary estimates, to about 1.49 trillion riyals, the highest historical levels, which is registering a growth rate of 9.4 percent, equivalent to 127.75 billion riyals by the end of 2017.
Foreign investments in Saudi Arabia are divided into three main sections: "direct investment in the economy", "portfolio investment" and "other investments".
According to the analysis of the reports unit in the newspaper "AlEqtisadiah" that was based on the data of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, the growth of foreign investment in 2018 is due to the growth of the item "portfolio investments" by 71.92 billion riyals to reach 332.99 billion riyals by the end of 2018, compared to 261.07 billion riyals by the end of 2017.
While the item "other investments" grew by 17.8 percent, equivalent to about 43.76 billion riyals, to reach SR 289.91 billion by the end of 2018, compared to 246.15 billion riyals by the end of 2017.
The third item, the most recent of which is "Direct Investment in the Saudi Economy" is rising by 12.08 billion riyals to reach 865.45 billion riyals at the end of 2018, compared to SAR 853.37 billion by the end of 2017.
This comes as a result of the changes made by Saudi Arabia in certain procedures related to foreign investment in order to stimulate foreign investments locally in all kinds, such as direct investment, stocks, bonds and others.
It also encouraged tourism through the opening of cinemas, concerts and entertainment, which was held by the General Authority for Entertainment, by attracting international companies, especially in the entertainment industry to invest in the Kingdom.
The return to foreign investments in Saudi Arabia has doubled over ten years from the end of 2009 to the end of 2018, which was worth about 755.24 billion riyals at the end of 2009.
FDI accounted for 58.1 per cent of total foreign investment domestically, compared with 73.5 per cent at the end of 2009.
Portfolio investments accounted for 22.4 per cent of total foreign investments by the end of 2018, compared with 1.9 per cent at the end of 2009.
Other investments accounted for 19.5 percent of total foreign investments, compared to 27.3 percent at the end of 2009.
* Economic Reports Unit