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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Private sector investment continues to rise in Saudi Arabia’s industrial sector, with the Kingdom managing to attract as much as SR3.34 billion ($890 million) in the first quarter of 2023 for various projects, revealed Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones.
The authority, also known as MODON, said this is 77 percent up from SR1.88 billion recorded during the same period last year, as the region’s largest economy pushes ahead to become a major manufacturing and investment hub.
In a tweet, MODON added that the number of ready-built factories reached 1,191 at the end of the first quarter, while the total number of factories stood at 5,894.
The authority further said that the total number of logistics contracts reached 223 during the same period.
Industrial contracts issued by MODON rose by 33 percent in the first quarter to 162, while privatized industrial areas grew by 41 percent to 1.62 million square meters.
Food industries secured the most contracts in the first quarter of 2023, representing 29 percent, followed by mining at 17 percent, machinery and equipment at 15 percent, chemicals at 10 percent, and medical at 4 percent.
MODON added that the most privatized cities during the first quarter of this year were Jeddah, with 50 contracts, comprising 30 percent of the overall contracts, followed by Al-Kharj at 22 percent and 36 contracts.
Dammam, Sudair and Madinah followed with 19 percent, 12 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
During this period, MODON said 1,115 foreign investments came from 68 countries, mainly Egypt, Jordan, India, the US and the UK.
The authority, responsible for developing fully integrated service industrial lands, currently oversees 35 existing and underdeveloped industrial cities in various regions of the Kingdom, besides supervising private industrial cities.
Earlier in February, MODON revealed it would establish, develop and operate 14 warehouses in Jeddah 1st Industrial City.
The new warehouses will be based on smart, automated systems to provide quick and temporary logistical solutions to support industrialists and entrepreneurs and stimulate investment in the retail sector.
The project involves the construction of fully digital and automated warehouses that do not need human intervention, using the latest technology and equipment that provides access to storage units via a smartphone app.
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