Saudi Arabia’s wholesale and retail
traders will soon open to foreign ownership. The changes are
part of a broad initiative to modernise business legislation in
the kingdom, and are expected in the second quarter of
While 100% foreign ownership is already permitted
in many service and industrial sectors, retail and wholesale
are excluded. In these sectors, foreign companies are required
to appoint a Saudi national as agent or distributor, often
pushing up costs.
The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority
(SAGIA) announced the changes during King Salman’s
visit to Washington, DC earlier this month. The Ministry of
Commerce and Industry has since confirmed that it welcomes the reform.