RIYADH: The Saudi manufacturing sector continues to strengthen, with the Kingdom issuing 122 industrial licenses in December 2023, up from 79 in the same month the previous year.
The non-metallic minerals and non-ferrous metal manufacturing sector secured 18 permits from the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, with the food manufacturing sector following closely with 15, as reported by the Saudi Press Agency.
The chemicals manufacturing sector received 11 licenses, while the rubber and plastics production industry obtained 10 approvals, stated the SPA report.
It further noted that from the beginning of 2023 until the end of December, the ministry issued a total of 1,379 industrial licenses.
The issuance of these new licenses has brought the total number of existing factories in the Kingdom to 11,549, with an investment of SR1.55 trillion ($413 billion). The investment volume for new licenses reached SR1.85 billion.
Small enterprises dominated the new permits at 83.34 percent, followed by medium enterprises at 9.84 percent, and micro-enterprises at 0.82 percent.
National factories secured the largest share of total licenses at 77.05 percent, followed by foreign establishments and joint-investment firms at 13.93 percent and 9.02 percent, respectively, according to the report.
During December, 119 factories commenced production, with an investment volume of SR2.4 million. Of these establishments, 80.67 percent were national factories, while 11.76 percent and 7.56 percent were foreign firms and joint ventures, respectively.
Developing the industrial sector is crucial for Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom is currently on a steady economic diversification effort, aligned with the goals outlined in Vision 2030.
The Kingdom attracts global collaboration, with the recent interest shown by the Italian aerospace company Argotec.
CEO David Avino shared the company’s expansion plans during an interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the World Defense Show in Riyadh.
Avino, also the founder of the company, which “only started in 2008 like a startup,” emphasized the desire for additional investors as they aim to expand in the Kingdom, following the launch of their subsidiary in the US.