Saudi Arabia is inviting major international companies to invest in a new industrial city in the southern Jazan region, offering soft loans worth 75 percent of the project cost. Developed by Gammon Group, the proposed city is expected to attract investments worth SR75 billion.
Rafik Mohammed, chairman of Gammon Group, said five well-known companies in Canada, Malaysia and India have agreed to establish factories in pharmaceuticals, iron and steel, cement, tires and copper in the city, adding that it would create about 100,000 jobs.
Gammon has signed an agreement with Prince Turki bin Mohammed Nasser, director of international trade at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. A new company named Jazan Investments will be launched on May 17.
Prince Turki has been authorized by the government to develop the city by bringing foreign investors to build the city’s entire infrastructure facilities such as roads, bridges, commercial centers, power plants, water treatment plants, oil refinery and petrochemical plants.
The prince, who is the main partner of Gammon, is also authorized to build plants for automobile industries, all types of tires, IT parks, food processing industries, building materials, hospitals and hotels to make it one of the best commercial cities in Saudi Arabia.
“The main attraction of this Jazan project is that if major companies are ready to invest and transfer their technology, the government will pay them 75 percent of their project cost in soft loans for 20 years,” Mohammed told Arab News.
The new city will be located close to the seaport, making it easy for companies to export their products, the Gammon chairman said. “We are looking for 75 advanced companies to start different industries in the city,” he said, adding that it would boost Jazan’s economic development.
“We’ll do consultancy as well as marketing for the project. We will work together with Prince Turki to bring investors from India, China and other parts of the world. They will get the government loan if their projects were found feasible and good for the Kingdom,” he explained.
Gammon is developing another business center in Rabigh, which involves a capital investment of SR10.9 billion. “We have prepared the plan for the Rabigh city and start work soon after receiving government clearance.”
Mohammed described Saudi Arabia as the most attractive place for investment. “I have traveled about 70 countries. I have found the Kingdom as the best place for investment because of its security and stability, and you will get pay back for investment within two to three years.”
Abdullah Al-Obaidi, director of Prince Turki’s office in Jeddah, told Arab News that the Jazan project is significant as the Jazan governorate has agreed to provide soft loans worth 75 percent of the project to investors.
“Prince Turki has held talks with Gammon Chairman Mohammed and signed an agreement to promote investment in the city. Gammon will sign agreements with foreign companies. Things are moving fine. Companies will start building their factories, hopefully within six months, after signing agreements with them,” he said.