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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - RIYADH — The General Investment Authority (SAGIA) announced the signing of a new joint venture agreement in the Kingdom’s emerging renewable energy sector. The signatories, Al Rushaid Group and the French-based Optimum Tracker, solidified their new partnership at a signing ceremony witnessed by SAGIA Governor Ibrahim Al-Omar, attending under Invest Saudi.
The new legal entity created by the two companies will combine their expertise into a Saudi-registered company providing design and engineering services in the field of solar energy, with a focus on the manufacturing of mounting system structures for solar PV panels.
Beginning the joint venture with an initial investment of SR200 million, Al Rushaid and Optimum Tracker, will base their main operations in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province and target a gradual capacity to no less than 150 megawatts (MW).
The plant constructed under the deal plans to export at least 30% of its products to countries across the region and create 1,000 direct jobs.
Al Omar said: “Our country is undergoing a significant economic transformation and energy demand at home and abroad is growing rapidly, leading to the emergence of renewable energy as one of the most important strategic sectors in line with Saudi Vision 2030.
“Renewable energy is seen as a vital enabler of sustainable growth in the Kingdom and therefore provides exciting opportunities for both local and international investors, as we look to draw on the expertise and experience of the private sector in transforming the industry.
“This new joint venture reflects our increasing focus on promoting opportunities and facilitating international partnerships to drive the growth of this strategic sector.
“We are very pleased to welcome Optimum Tracker to Saudi Arabia and facilitate their new partnership with leading Saudi innovator Al Rushaid Group, as we build the future of the renewable energy sector in the Kingdom.”
Sheikh Rasheed A. Al Rushaid, vice chairman and president of Al Rushaid Group, commented: “We’re proud and extremely excited to be working side by side with a successful, rapidly growing company like Optimum Tracker, as we work towards localizing an important component of solar plants in Saudi Arabia in line with the Kingdom Vision 2030.
“We are confident that our experience and expertise in the industrial field will assure a quick and seamless start of manufacturing and commercialization of solar trackers, in order for these innovative products to be installed across in Kingdom and exported worldwide.
“We are blessed to find in SAGIA a true partner in success — their unconditional support has been instrumental to facilitating this exciting new partnership.”
This agreement builds on the positive momentum that Saudi Arabia has seen this year in terms of inward investment.
According to Invest Saudi’s Fall 2019 Investment Highlights report, over 250 overseas businesses were granted investor licenses in Q3 2019, marking a 30 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.
In fact, 809 new foreign companies have established operations in Saudi Arabia, 67 per cent of which are for fully foreign ownership investments, representing the highest number of foreign investor licenses issued by SAGIA since 2010.
These investments come alongside a broad series of economic reforms, which are enabling rapid growth in foreign investment in Saudi Arabia.
These reforms have had a significant impact. According to the 2019 Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum, Saudi Arabia has moved up three positions to 36th place globally through its efforts to diversify the Kingdom’s economy.
Saudi Arabia has also been recognized by the World Bank as the fourth largest reformer within the G20, climbing 30 places in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report.
According to the report, Saudi Arabia’s rise in the index was driven by key reforms including lifting foreign ownership restrictions in a range of new sectors, while adopting faster and less complicated business registration procedures by introducing a one-stop shop for business registration. — SG
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