On December 15, 2022, the Saudi Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services held a webinar organized and moderated by the U.S.-Saudi Business Council (USSBC), with Loay Mashabi, Deputy Minister for Logistics Services, joining as the webinar’s featured speaker. The webinar was attended by representatives of U.S. and Saudi companies seeking to learn more about the latest developments and business opportunities in the Kingdom’s logistics sector.
In Mr. Mashabi’s presentation, he discussed these trends and the business-friendly improvements the Ministry is implementing to attract U.S. partners. By 2030, the Ministry expects the Saudi logistics market to be the largest in the region, with a value of over $15 billion. The Deputy Minister explained the Ministry’s improvements and newly streamlined licensing services for international companies doing business in the Kingdom, particularly the new Umbrella Logistics Services license that replaces three separate licenses concerned with maritime freight forwarding, air cargo handling, and land freight forwarding. The new unified permitting system also introduced permits for domestic shipping, customs clearance, and road freight transportation. The Deputy Minister encouraged attendees to explore their new unified logistics window, which the Ministry developed to provide access to operational services in multiple languages across various entities from the country’s logistics ecosystem.
Finally, Mr. Mashabi discussed the new Riyadh Airport free zone, a 3 million-square-meter area with a direct link to King Khalid International Airport, access to the Saudi Land-Bridge Railway linking the Dammam and Jeddah free zones, and access to surrounding dry ports. Mr. Mashabi highlighted the incentives offered to U.S. companies in the free zone, including a 50-year tax holiday/VAT suspension, zero-rated corporate income and withholding taxes on certain payments, 100 percent foreign ownership rights, 100 percent suspension of customs and import restrictions, and no restrictions on capital repatriation. After a Q&A session with the webinar’s attendees, Mr. Mashabi encouraged those with additional questions to contact the Ministry at Logistics@mot.gov.sa.
The Ministry and the Saudi government had previously launched the National Transport and Logistics Strategy in 2021 to position the country as a global logistics hub connecting three continents, taking advantage of the strong growth taking place in the greater region’s logistics sectors. Since 2015, the GCC region has been the world’s second fastest growing logistics market, while the region’s e-commerce market has grown over 30 percent per year on the back of a growing population, improved logistical services, and infrastructure development.
The USSBC has helped U.S. companies invest in Saudi Arabia and partner with Saudi companies for over 25 years – if you would like our help contacting the right person at the Ministry, or entering the Saudi market, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.