IIA Navigator This IIAs database - the IIA Navigator - is managed by the IIA section of UNCTAD. You can browse THE IIAs that are completed by a given country or group of countries, view the recently concluded IIAs, or use advanced research for sophisticated research tailored to your needs. Please mention: UNCTAD, International Investment Agreements Navigator available for investmentpolicy.unctad.org/international-investment-agreements/ Fixed oil prices have improved Saudi Arabia`s trade balance in 2018. But in the longer term, the government wants to protect itself from the uncertainty of the energy market by diversifying the hydrocarbon export base. The kingdom`s reformulated economic strategy also aims to increase the level of foreign investment in the country and thus reduce the economy`s dependence on public growth spending. In the West, Saudi Arabia approved a comprehensive trade and investment framework agreement with the United States in 2003 to improve investor legal protection, improve intellectual property protection, create more transparent and effective customs procedures, and increase transparency of government and trade rules. Both objectives are being pursued through intergovernmental efforts to reorganize Saudi Arabia`s business environment. Changes to the legal and regulatory environment governing trade and investment promise a long-term vision of economic growth, even if concrete short-term results are not yet assured. The government`s determination to attract investment has led to a change in mentality in its long-standing policy of preventing special economic zones (SEZ). Free trade zones and zenics are a growing trend in the region and, according to the OECD, have added a global trade value of $500 billion and created employment opportunities for 66 million people in 2018.
The United Arab Emirates has 45 free zones and another 10 are under construction in 2018. Saudi has historically preferred to promote its low-tax, low-cost input framework as a single economic area, but in late 2018 it revealed details of its first SEZ, to be located to Riyadh`s international airport.