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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources issued 130 industrial licenses in November 2023, compared to 82 during the same month the previous year.
The food manufacturing sector took the lead with 20 permits, followed by nonferrous metal manufacturing with 16, according to the monthly report by the ministry.
A total of 15 permits were issued to formed metal products, excluding machinery and equipment, while the rubber and plastics production industry received 12 permits.
Additionally, 10 licenses were issued to the production of chemical materials and chemical products sector.
The ministry’s report noted that the total number of industrial permits administered from the beginning of 2023 until the end of November amounted to 1,257.
With the issuance of these new licenses, the number of existing factories in the Kingdom reached 11,469, with an investment of SR1.538 trillion ($410.2 billion).
The investment volume in terms of new permits stood at SR24.3 billion.
The distribution of new permits shows that small enterprises comprised 93.08 percent, with medium-sized companies following at 6.15 percent and large businesses at 0.77 percent.
According to the report, national factories accounted for the largest percentage of the total licenses, with 70.77 percent, followed by foreign establishments and joint-investment firms, with 20 percent and 9.23 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, 88 factories started their production in the month of November, with an investment volume of SR8.79 billion.
Food manufacturers were the most numerous, with 13 establishments, followed by 11 nonferrous metal factories, 10 shaped metal manufacturers, and eight rubber, plastics, and chemical industries.
In terms of the type of investments, 73.86 percent of the establishments that started production were national factories, while 13.64 percent and 12.5 percent were foreign firms and joint ventures.
Growing the industrial sector is very important for Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom is now working to diversify its economy steadily in order to meet the objectives of Vision 2030.
The ministry has been actively pursuing opportunities to protect the mining sector and maximize its value in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals and the National Industry Development and Logistics Program.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia is on track to transform mining into the third pillar of the national industry and is working to exploit the mineral resources in the Kingdom spread across more than 5,300 sites and valued at about SR5 trillion.
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