JEDDAH – Saudi Arabia has planned to sign free trade agreement (FTA) with 11 more countries in a bid to boost its exports and reduce dependency on income generated through oil.
According to Saudi-based newspaper, the kingdom is resuming negotiations for free trade agreements with 11 countries.
The Federal of Saudi Chambers (FSC) has sent a circular in this regard to all chambers of commerce operating in the Kingdom, following the directions of the General Authority for Foreign Trade (GAFT).
The country is looking for signing FTA with China, India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the United States of America.
The Kingdom aims at exporting services including transport, distribution, professional and financial services, communication services, postal services as well as express mail, media, hotel, construction and contracting, education and training, travel and tourism, environmental, and entertainment.
The Saudi Exports Development Authority (SEDA) announced on Wednesday, it will identify over 120 international tendering opportunities in a number of target countries, mainly covering construction and industrial supplies and infrastructure projects.
According to the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT), non-oil exports increased by 23.1% year-on-year in Q1 2021, raising up to 59.9 billion riyals from 48.7 billion riyals in Q1 2020. The share of non-oil exports in total exports increased from 25.4% (Q1 2020) to 28.2% (Q1 2021)
A free trade agreement is a pact between two or more nations to reduce barriers to imports and exports among them.