RIYADH: ABDUL HANNAN TAGO | ARAB NEWS STAFF
Published — Wednesday 7 January 2015
Last update 6 January 2015 11:05 pm
Saudi Arabia, ranked among the top 20 economies in the world, is a safe haven for investors in view of its strong legal framework for safeguarding the interests of both local and foreign investors.
This was the message put across by Justice Minister Mohammed Al-Issa in his opening speech at the Arab Investment Court Forum on Tuesday.
The event brought together heads and members of the group and their Saudi counterparts, including Abdul Latif Al-Othman, governor of Saudi Arabia General Authority for Investment (SAGIA).
Describing the Kingdom as one of the world’s fastest economies with an economic growth rate of 6.8 percent in 2013, the minister said another noteworthy point from the investors’ perspective is the legal framework for which the government has spent millions riyals for safeguarding the interests of both local and foreign investors.
Al-Issa stressed that the international dimension of the Arab Investment Court (AIC) guarantees the independence and impartiality of these courts.
AIC President Jaloul Shalabi also attended the forum, which was held on the sidelines of the Arab Courts General Assembly and hosted by Saudi Arabia for the first time.
Shalabi said that it underlines the importance of the event for Saudi Arabia in terms of investment protection.
“Saudi Arabia welcomes and is willing to host the annual meeting of the AIC on its soil,” he said, adding that the Kingdom is a model for investment judicial independence and accountability.
Speaking on the occasion, the SAGIA Governor said that a survey conducted by them revealed there was no any judicial obstacle to investment in the Kingdom, which proves the success of the Saudi judicial system in addressing the investors’ concerns. It was also a contributory factor for investment.
Al-Othman said investment is the executive arm of the development programs and from this standpoint Saudi Arabia has opened its doors for foreign investment, with organized regulator as one of the most important pillars of the economy.
“This will contribute to the diversification of income sources and transfer of development, human resource development and products and services improvement. This also promotes competitiveness and balanced development.”
According to him, the Kingdom plays a major role in the international economy as favorite investment destination for many global players, including small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) as well as innovative companies.
“It is the biggest meeting place for foreign investment in the Middle East over the past five years” he said.