Viewpoint: Eyad Reda
“My first goal is for our country to be a successful and pioneering model in the world at all levels, and I will work with you to achieve that.” This statement by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud sets the foundation for the advancement of the Kingdom, within which the legal framework is an integral part. Indeed, the legal framework is linked with every other aspect of progress as it forms the foundation of development.
In this sense, growth can take various forms. When we think about Vision 2030, we can see the importance of laws in tangible ways. This is evident, for example, in the announcement of a special economic zone, the initiation of a Vision Realisation Programme, the invitation to international companies to establish their regional headquarters in the Kingdom, the creation of new authorities, the organisation of a new sector, the inclusion of new subjects in the educational curriculum, the establishment of project infrastructure, the management of imports and exports, the facilitation of transport modes and logistics support, and the promotion of local products and industries.
A legal framework is required to enhance our social and cultural lives as well, in areas such as the designation of historical sites, the declaration of official nature reserve areas, the registration of cultural identity as recognised intangible heritage and the implementation of environmental protection. On the international stage, we follow a legal framework in the promotion of tourism, accession as a member to an international treaty, participation in international summits and conventions, and compliance with international codes and references, among many more examples that are integral to the development chain. All of these require a legal document or legal instrument to initiate.
It follows that enhancing the legal framework enables the realisation of the goals outlined in Vision 2030. This is based on robust legal fundamentals that ensure the appropriate structure for each achievement, aligned with relevant laws and regulations. The developments align with the Kingdom’s distinct characteristics, where numerous authorities are interconnected, aiming for seamless transactions and arrangements between different entities, all while considering the interests of all parties involved.
Several important laws and regulations came into force in 2023, starting with the new Companies Law and its implementing guidelines, which became effective in January 2023. This was followed by the Real Estate Brokerage Law and its implementing regulations, effective the same month. Subsequently, the Property Lease Law and its implementing regulations were enacted in February 2023. In March 2023 the Law of Trade Remedies in International Trade and its implementing regulations took effect. The Enforcement Law before the Board of Grievances became effective in August of that same year. Together, these laws serve to create regulatory certainty in the Kingdom and instil confidence in businesses and residents.
Additional laws and regulations were introduced in 2023, including the Civil Transactions Law and the corresponding regulations for the Saudi Space Agency, both of which were unveiled in June 2023, as well as the Real Estate Contributions Law, issued in July.
These laws and regulations, among others, play a vital role in the multifaceted development of the Kingdom. Codifying these laws enhances local socio-economic activity and aligns with international standards, thereby encouraging foreign companies to establish a presence in the Kingdom through various regulated options that align with global trade standards.
Furthermore, these reforms strengthen legal governance. This, coupled with the ability to foresee and evaluate associated challenges, results in an effective national risk-management strategy. The impact can also be observed by the authorities, as the regulations assist them in maintaining focused oversight of entities under their jurisdiction. The more effective the regulations, the more assessable compliance becomes.