The development system in Saudi Arabia, represented by the National Development Fund and its affiliated development funds and banks, has approved financing amounts of more than 111 billion riyals in the calendar year 2022.
The development system achieved a number of achievements, agreements, and innovative development programs that it launched during the fourth quarter of last year, aimed at achieving the economic, social and cultural goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, increasing the developmental impact, financing the private sector, and competencies in various fields. The achievements of the development system during the past quarter included the signing of cooperation agreements. Strategy and financing beneficiaries from various sectors of the economy and segments of society.
According to the National Development Fund report, the development system has launched the Small and Medium Enterprises Bank, which will work to increase financing and bridge the financing gap in the small and medium enterprises sector and raise their share in the GDP from 20% to 35% by 2030, as a major catalyst for financing small enterprises. And the medium, which in turn revealed 6 financing products that were designed to suit the needs of the sector and the requirements of the market, quoting the Saudi Press Agency, “SPA”.
The Fund also issued its approval to establish the Industrial Fund for Investment Company, which seeks to support the objectives of the national strategy for industry, develop the Kingdom’s economy, raise the private sector’s contribution to investing in projects funded by the Industrial Fund, and attract local and international investors to invest in the targeted sectors. The development system has signed financing agreements with NEOM Company. Green hydrogen to establish the largest green hydrogen production plant in the world to serve the goals of sustainability and green development.
As part of the efforts of the development system to achieve environmental sustainability and increase development in the industrial sectors, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund provided strategic development financing to establish the first Saudi brand for electric cars and enable it to enter competition in this growing sector. The total approved loans to the Industrial Fund’s clients exceeded 14 billion riyals during the year 2022 for more than 100 projects in the sectors of industry, energy, mining and logistics. The Fund, through its educational academy, provided 70 programs and seminars benefiting more than 2,600 trainees.
On the other hand, the Tourism Development Fund launched, during the last quarter, the “Awn Tourism for Hospitality” program, which aims to support new facilities, develop and renovate existing ones in its ambitious tourism projects, by taking advantage of the flexible financing solutions of the Tourism Development Fund, with allocations of up to 10 million riyals, and a repayment period. It extends to 10 years.
In agricultural development and food security, the Board of Directors of the Agricultural Development Fund agreed to provide loans in the fourth quarter of the past fiscal year 2022 of more than 950 million riyals, which included various development loans for small farmers and breeders, financing investment in the poultry sectors, greenhouses, and operational loans for fish breeding and production. In inland waters, this included financing the sectors of cold stores, marketing centers for agricultural products, date processing and manufacturing industries, in addition to financing the import of agricultural products targeted in the food security strategy, bringing the total approved loans during the year to more than 6.3 billion riyals.
The Social Development Bank, in turn, signed a cooperation agreement with the National Program for Information Technology Development to finance the technology sector through the Lendtech initiative, which aims to support micro, small and medium technology companies by providing affordable financing solutions for Saudi entrepreneurs wishing to invest in the information technology sector. To join the group of support and development programs offered by the Social Development Bank to the community and entrepreneurs, and the bank’s beneficiaries during the past year exceeded 63,000 individuals and 8,600 establishments, with a financing value of 13 billion riyals, with the aim of raising the percentage of residential ownership to 70% by 2030 and providing sustainable housing and financing solutions. The value of real estate loans supported by the Real Estate Development Fund during the past year exceeded 72 billion riyals, which the fund approved in partnership with financing agencies.
And regarding an initiative to enrich Arabic content, the Cultural Fund signed a partnership agreement with the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) with the aim of supporting the content industry, enhancing joint cooperation in developing culture projects, supporting and disseminating knowledge, and nurturing national talents locally and globally, as the Fund provides 15 million riyals in support targeting the program. Small and medium-sized enterprises that wish to produce Arabic read, audio, or video content of international quality. The Fund also sponsored the Red Sea International Film Festival, and its pavilion received a large presence and positive interaction from the audience, who expressed interest in learning more about the film sector financing program that the Fund intends to launch in early 2023.
In the field of international development, during the past year, the Saudi Fund for Development provided financing worth more than 3.5 billion riyals, inaugurated 12 development projects and programs, and laid the foundation stone for 10 development projects and programs in various countries to support projects with real and tangible benefits for brotherly and friendly developing peoples and societies.