Saudi Arabia plans to loosen the country’s strict visa requirements in an effort to attract foreign capital as the kingdom seeks to diversify its economy away from oil.
A mechanism to issue visas to investors more quickly will be announced soon, Commerce and Investment Minister Majid Al Qasabi said on Thursday. “There is no doubt that the existence of a swift mechanism to get a visa is necessary,” he told a news conference in Jeddah, where ministers are presenting a multi-year plan to overhaul the economy.
Authorities in the world’s biggest oil exporter are trying to boost foreign direct investment in non-hydrocarbon industries to counter the drop in crude prices. The kingdom is 82nd among global economies in the World Bank’s Doing Business index. It is ranked 15th among the G-20 nations.