News 24 | Al-Falih: The government is studying a new system for collecting zakat.. Income tax on companies is being considered

Municipal Investment Forum "opportunities"The Minister of Investment, Khaled Al-Falih, said that there is a new system for collecting zakat that the government is working on and discussions are taking place around it with the aim of facilitating procedures for the investor, and the income tax system on companies is currently being considered, and there may be initiatives in this regard.

Al-Falih added, during his speech at the second edition of the Municipal Investment Forum “Foras”, which started today (Tuesday) in Riyadh and will last for 3 days, that the ministry is working to develop a comprehensive investment system that protects and clarifies the rights of the local and Gulf investor.

He stressed that this system will unify the identity of investors, expecting that the draft of this system will be presented to the Shura Council during the first quarter of this year, and that it will be issued in the second or third quarter of 2023.

Industry of the new economy in cities

The Minister of Investment confirmed that investment is the fuel that will transform the Kingdom into housing clusters and managing the Kingdom’s administrative affairs into economic engines comparable to the best global cities.

He added that the Kingdom has become comparable to the best global cities, including major cities, indicating that 20% of the Kingdom’s population was in cities in 1950, but this percentage has now increased to 83%, pointing out that the majority of the Kingdom’s economy comes from oil and mining. However, the productivity of the Kingdom’s cities is still behind compared to the major economic countries.

He continued: Cities are a center for the new economy industry, where there are factories, innovation, creativity, knowledge industry, incubators for start-up companies, and financial centers, and the element that distinguishes the city is the quality of life, and His Highness the Crown Prince put the quality of life at the heart of the vision and gave it priority in major projects, and we began to see This has the effect of attracting and increasing the productivity of citizens.”

He stressed that they are looking forward to the cities’ economic contributions exceeding 90% of the targeted GDP in the Kingdom, which means high productivity, high income rates for individuals, and investment flows.

Pivotal strategy

The Minister of Investment said that among the strategies that have an impact on cities are the communications strategy, the transportation strategy, logistics services, environment, water and electricity strategies, stressing that smart cities need strong infrastructure, and that the Kingdom is one of the best countries in the world that has a strong infrastructure.

He added that the national investment strategy included 4 axes, including investment opportunities estimated at 12.4 trillion riyals, and most of these investments will be in the cities of the Kingdom, pointing out that 14% of these investments will be in the transportation sector, equivalent to more than 1 trillion riyals, and 9% in the tourism sector. Pointing out that there are a thousand opportunities worth nearly one trillion riyals.

New systems for collecting zakat and foreign ownership of real estate

The Minister of Investment confirmed that there is an update to the system of foreign ownership of real estate, and it is now in the final stages of study after its launch on the “Istishla” platform, adding that the most important proposal in this system is to open real estate investment and ownership to foreigners, whether they are companies and individuals residing or not in the Kingdom, and will not enter It shall come into force only after the approval of the Council of Ministers.

He pointed out that they aspire to cooperate with the Real Estate Authority to review all real estate legislation, and they may replace it with one complete system for everything related to real estate during the next three years.

A map of Saudi cities

Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing Majid Al-Hogail said that a map has been drawn up to make 3 Saudi cities among the best cities in the world, based on the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

Al-Hogail added that the ministry is working to encourage investment in the Kingdom, and aims to raise the participation of the private sector from 40 to 65 percent, and to increase the contribution of small and medium enterprises to the GDP.

He added that the municipal real estate disposal regulation made it possible to improve the relationship between municipal assets and the investor by allowing short-term leases, and allowing investors to experience new activities and ideas within a period not exceeding 3 months, in addition to reducing risks to investors through the diversity of contracting.

He pointed out that the ministry reduced the value of bank guarantees from 100% to 25% to help the investor in development and construction, as well as to enable investment in some lands such as parks, revealing that the ministry signed today a smart cities agreement with South Korea.

Benefits of municipal investments

Al-Hogail said that the municipal forms help achieve the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 through several axes, the first of which is improving the quality of services in cities, improving the urban landscape in cities, developing and diversifying recreational opportunities to meet the needs of the population, making state-owned assets available to the private sector, and developing the activities of other sectors. and significantly increase the contribution of small and medium enterprises to work.

He added that the municipal investments contribute to 5 programs to achieve the vision, which are the privatization programs, housing, quality of life, serving the guests of Rahman, and financial sustainability, stressing that work is underway to improve the quality of service in the Baladi platform and facilitate access to opportunities, and work is underway to transform the contracting sector. for an industrial sector.

He pointed out that 60% of economic activities are affected by the municipal sector directly and indirectly, and they also aim to empower, facilitate and plan, and make Riyadh, Jeddah, the eastern region and a number of cities, including NEOM, of economic value and self-reliance, noting that the ministry has offered 37 thousand investment opportunities worth 7 billions of riyals, and it has 66 thousand investors.

Increase the number of factories

For his part, Minister of Industry and Industrial Wealth, Bandar Al-Khorayef, said that the national strategy for industry aims to make the Kingdom embrace advanced industries with high economic value. chemicals.

He pointed out that the number of current factories in the industrial cities does not exceed 60%, and 40% of them are located outside the cities, stressing that the cities will be incubators for many industries, and that the ministry seeks to create quality jobs for the people of the Kingdom, indicating that there is a great demand from investors to enter into Military sectors. The General Authority for Military Industries is also working on classifying military industries and enabling them to obtain industrial cities.

Saudi road code and billion investments

The Minister of Transport and Logistics, Saleh Al-Jasser, revealed that there are 11 international companies to implement the land bridge project and it is in its advanced stages, pointing out that the ministry has made great strides in the transport and logistics sector, stressing that the ministry is in advanced stages to finalize a Saudi road code that unifies specifications. It raises and clarifies the quality, and there are 5 cities in which public transportation is being introduced with an integrated plan, which are Jazan, Taif, Buraydah, Unaizah and Al-Ahsa, and the citizen will reap the fruits of all that.

He pointed out that the national strategy for transport and logistics includes huge investments that exceed 600 billion riyals, noting that 3 agreements have been signed with the private sector to invest in developing and operating container terminals over a period of 30 years, with a commitment to investments amounting to about 17 billion riyals in Jeddah Islamic Port and King Port. Abdulaziz in Dammam, noting the completion of the implementation of 22 logistical areas that integrate with industrial areas.

Developments in the land bridge project

The Minister of Transport pointed out that there are 22 investment opportunities available in the “Foras” platform and the Privatization Center, including 4 regional airports that are being prepared for offering today, namely Abha Airport, the new Taif Airport, the new Qassim Airport, and the new Hail Airport.

He continued: “The land bridge project includes 7 logistical areas, and the project is in advanced stages, and we are currently working with an alliance led by a major Chinese company and 11 international companies in the land bridge project, and the designs have been completed and the final cost and financing are being negotiated, and there is another path for the project in case We did not reach an agreement, as we will communicate with the Public Investment Fund to implement this project.”

It is noteworthy that the forum witnessed the launch of the investment portal in Saudi cities, and the forum will present more than 5,000 investment opportunities in various economic activities. The forum will also witness the review of Qatar’s experience in organizing the 2022 World Cup.