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Saudi import tariff increases led to rise in domestic industrial investments: Ministry
RIYADH: Raising Saudi Arabia’s import tariffs on more than 500 items led to an investment increase in goods production and more jobs in the Kingdom, according to the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.
The rise on 575 commodities was issued in June 2020, and saw rates increase from zero to 25 percent on some food and beverage products.
Building materials, machinery, and vehicles saw tariffs rise to up to 15 percent on some items.
Following the rise, investments in relevant factories in the Kingdom increased by 2 percent by the end of December 2021 — reaching SR374 billion ($99.7 billion).
The ministry added that the number of factories producing these commodities increased by 8 percent to reach 2,955 factories during the same period, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The total number of Saudi employees working in factories producing goods with adjusted fees increased by 18 percent to reach 61,000 employees, in addition to an increase in the total number of employees in factories producing the same goods by 7 percent to reach 194,000 employees, by the end of December 2021.
The tariff adjustment also affected hand wash basins made of marble and alabaster, which was reflected in a 110 percent increase of investments between June 2020 and June 2021, to SR456 million, the ministry said.
The number of factories for these goods increased by 9 percent in the same period, reaching 51 factories, and the total number of employees increased by 30 percent to nearly 2,000 employees.
The positive effects of the tariff adjustment extended to a number of commodities, including doors, windows and thresholds, in which the percentage of investments increased by 11 percent to more than SR5 billion, the ministry said.
The investment in glass goods in the form of tubes and pipes increased by about SR2.3 billion, while other commodities included in the customs tariff have witnessed different growth rates. the ministry added.
Saudi Arabia aimed, through the customs tariff increases, to improve the balance of payments, increase exports, and bring the private sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product to 65 percent.
The Kingdom also aims to raise the percentage of foreign investments to 5.7 percent, and provide job opportunities for citizens, in addition to raising the percentage of non-oil exports from 16 percent to at least 50 percent of non-oil GDP.
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