Saudi lifts prohibition on foreigners running Saudi firms


Expat workers and business people have welcomed the decision by the Saudi government to allow foreign nationals to run Saudi-owned firms for the first time. The move was announced in January by the Ministry of Justice and is intended to strengthen and broaden economic activity in the Kingdom.

Minister of Justice Dr Walid Al-Samaani issued a circular from Minister of Commerce and Chairman of the National Competitiveness Centre (Tayseer) Majed Al-Qasabi, which stated: “A working team constituted by the Ministry of Commerce to study the issue came to the conclusion that there is no objection to appointing non-Saudis as managers of Saudi-owned companies, as well as in authorising foreigners to act in place of Saudis in running companies.”

“At a time when the Kingdom plans to diversify its economy, this will definitely contribute to achieving sustainable development of the country’s economy,” said Paul Arnold, Managing Director of Sovereign Corporate Services (KSA). “It will help to energise small and medium business enterprises in the Kingdom and will also encourage foreign investment by boosting overall confidence in the Saudi market.”

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