Sunday, November 26, 2023 11:12 AM
Follow-up/National News Center
Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih revealed that his country is seeking to launch the first free economic zone with Iraq, in the border region of Arar.
The Saudi Economic Cities Authority is evaluating linking the border areas and free zones with neighboring countries, according to Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Investment, who expressed his hope that the border area with Iraq in Arar will be the first free economic zone with a neighboring country without taxes, fees, or entry visas to serve investors in the two countries.
This came in statements by the Saudi Minister of Investment at one of the sessions of the Northern Border Investment Forum held in the Saudi city of Arar, in which he indicated the availability of about 100 new investment opportunities, worth 20 billion riyals, in addition to the existing opportunities, which are valued at 80 billion riyals.
The new Arar land port in the northern border region is one of the gateways to the trade movement between Saudi Arabia and Iraq during the past two years, as the volume of land trade exchange during the first half of the current year amounted to about 913.1 million riyals.
The volume of trade exchange between Saudi Arabia and Iraq in 2021 reached about 3.5 billion riyals.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Northern Border Region said in a study it conducted that trade movement between the Kingdom and Iraq grew from 294 million riyals in January to 381 million riyals in March, and the Kingdom’s imports from Iraq declined during the same period from 11.5 million riyals to 8.6 million riyals.
The goods exported by Saudi Arabia to Iraq include
aluminum and its products,
electrical appliances and equipment and their parts,
preparations based on grains or flour,
milk and eggs,
edible animal products, and
While goods were imported from Iraq, namely
aluminum and its products,
sugar and its sugar products, and
copper and its products.
The Saudi northern border region includes 25% of the Kingdom’s mining wealth, with a total value of 1.2 trillion riyals, according to the Deputy Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources for Mining Affairs, Khaled Al-Mudaifer.
The Saudi northern border region also contains about 7% of the global phosphate reserve, and the volume of investment in it amounts to about 85 billion riyals in two stages.
The northern region is considered an international corridor for trade and transport movement through 3 axes: the
first through Iraq and then the countries of East Asia, the
second through Jordan and Syria, then Turkey and the continent of Europe, and the
third to the Arab Gulf countries.
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