Eyad Reda, Managing Partner, Eyad Reda Law Firm
Recent reforms improve the business environment in Saudi Arabia
In this Global Platform video, Eyad Reda, managing partner of the Eyad Reda Law Firm, shares an overview of recent legal changes and targeted areas of reform to improve the experience of international investors and strengthen the local business environment. Financial technology (fintech), data protection and the digital economy are areas set for improved regulations in the years to 2030.
Recently, the government of Saudi Arabia is repositioning its global footprint, and they want to make sure that doing business in Saudi Arabia is attractive enough to be among the top 10 countries globally.
Accordingly, we are seeing every day Saudi is doing better in terms of judicial aspects, legal reforms and the journey of investors from the start to the operation. So it's a full circle to make sure that the investment ecosystem in Saudi Arabia is comprehensive enough and competitive enough to attract best-in-class firms globally and to make sure that Saudi is very critical when it comes to global investments.
We have long waited for the bankruptcy law in Saudi Arabia.
Once the law was enacted in 2018, most of the business community was very keen to know more about the law. This directly or indirectly will positively impact the economy.
It will also protect employees, employers, management and shareholders.
Recently, Saudi Arabia announced an easing of regulatory requirements to own real state, and also created a system where entities can contribute to ownership in Mecca and Medina through funds or through different means.
These steps created a very attractive market in Saudi Arabia and people are looking into the real estate sector as a very attractive sector to invest.
The data protection laws are still under review.
There will be a great positive contribution to both the business the personal protection of users, as well as government entities.
Saudi Arabia is among the most advanced countries when it comes to regulating the digital economy.
Recently, we are seeing more support and more schemes of funding, including the involvement of the Ministry of Investment. They created a one-stop shop for those who are intending to do business in Saudi Arabia.
The collaboration of different government entities is obvious and critical to the success of the fintech atmosphere and the ecosystem in Saudi Arabia.
Three elements are to be regulated in the near future.
First, the security and safety of the users of the service providers of different categories within the community.
The second element is the accountability and potential expansion aspects associated with doing business; the ability to attract regulators and give them the flexibility to expand and be creative.
The third is that the digital content regulatory aspect affects different sectors, so you need a regulatory umbrella that gives them the ability to be able to produce further policies.
Saudi Vision 2030 is focusing on diversifying the Saudi economy away from the use of oil.
We are seeing much better real legal reforms and legal environment both for end users, as well as for the public/public entities. Foreign investment in Saudi Arabia has been active since 2005.
The government is implementing advanced regulatory improvements, taking into consideration major reforms to be done, including things associated with fintech, digital content, digital economy, entertainment and real estate.
The government also has announced a number of mega-projects, whether it's NEOM, Diriyah or Qiddiya.
The government is establishing the necessary regulatory platform to have those investors feel comfortable and to make sure that their journey in Saudi Arabia is a pleasant journey.
I am very positive about years to come. I think the journey from where we stand today to 2030 is going to be exciting.
The legal reforms will continue to improve.
I do believe that investors should come to Saudi Arabia before it's too late.
It's a great time for Saudi Arabia in terms of investment, in terms of doing business and in terms of talent being empowered.
Today, women have a rightful place in the workplace and they are proving a success story.
Today, I can say that it's the right place and the right time to be in Saudi Arabia.