Saudi removes wholesale, retail FDI restrictions

Author: Lizzie Meager | Published: 23 Sep 2015

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 2016.

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.

While much...