Major international companies who have agreed to set up their regional headquarters in Riyadh have endorsed the Saudi capital’s ambitions to become one of the top business cities in the world.
The Royal Commission for Riyadh City has set a target to attract up to 500 foreign companies to set up their regional headquarters in the Saudi capital over the next 10 years, according to a report by Al Arabiya.
Twenty-four international companies on Wednesday officially signed agreements to establish their regional offices in Riyadh, part of the government’s wider plan to create 35,000 new jobs for Saudi nationals and boost the national economy by up to SR70 billion ($18.67 billion) by 2030.
The official ceremony followed an announcement on Thursday by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to double Riyadh’s population and transform it into one of the 10 richest cities in the world. “All of Riyadh’s features set the groundwork for job creation, economic growth, investment, and many more opportunities,’’ the crown prince said at the Future Investment Initiative gathering in the capital.
“We are therefore aiming to make Riyadh one of the 10 largest city economies in the world. Today it stands at number 40, the 40th largest city economy worldwide. We also aim to increase its residents from 7.5 million today to around 15 to 20 million in 2030,’’ he added.
The first of the hundreds of companies set to make Riyadh their regional hub over the next decade have written testimonials to the Kingdom’s plans.
Eugene Willemsen, PepsiCo’s CEO for Africa, Middle East, South Asia, said: “We’ve been active in Saudi Arabia for around 60 years and are one of the largest food and beverage companies in the Kingdom. We very much look forward to continuing to be part of the future of Saudi Arabia and support the realization of the ambition of Vision 2030. We’re proud to sign the commitment today and be one of the early-adopters of the vision for Riyadh.”—AN