Photographer: Jordan Pix/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia Plans to Speed Up Visa Process for Investors

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.

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