Saudi Arabia to build 14,000 km of railway, enact new investment law

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Saudi Arabia will build 14,000 km (8,700 miles) of railway across country and is also preparing a new investment law to address the needs of investors, its investment minister Khalid al-Falih announced.

“New rail that will criss-cross the kingdom and add to the network we already have,” Falih told a mining forum in Riyadh.

He also said his ministry was working on a new investment law that would address the needs of both domestic and international investors.

The law would be enacted this year, “hopefully sooner”, Falih said, which would add to other regulatory and judicial reforms introduced by the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has also become a challenge for Dubai after it announced last year it would give foreign firms until the end of 2023 to set up headquarters in the country or risk losing out on government contracts.

In October it said it had licensed 44 international companies to set up regional headquarters in the capital Riyadh.

But, five years after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched Vision 2030 to end the kingdom’s dependence on fossil fuels, foreign direct investment (FDI) remains well short of targets.

(Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi; writing by Saeed Azhar, Editing by Alex Richardson)

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