Factory investments in Saudi Arabia touched 1.433 trillion riyals ($382.1 billion) during the first quarter of 2023, an increase of 6.5 percent compared to the same period last year.
According to the statistical bulletin of industrial licenses issued by the Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, on Wednesday, the total number of industrial facilities hit 10,819 by the end of March — up from 10,518 factories at the end of 2022 — with the estimated capital of these factories amounting to over SAR 1.43 trillion ($381 billion).
Saudi factories were able to employ more than 725,000 workers during the first quarter of this year, compared to around 648,000 workers in the same period of 2022, with a growth rate of 11.8 percent.
The Eastern region led the size of investments in the factories with SAR 603 million ($161 billion) in the first quarter of 2023, an increase of 12.8 percent over the same period last year.
Riyadh came in the second place, with an investment volume that exceeded SAR 312.5 billion ($84.1 billion), up 2.7 percent from the first quarter of last year.
As for the number of industrial facilities according to administrative regions, Riyadh ranked first with more than 4,100 factories, followed by the eastern region with 2,400, then Makkah Al-Mukarramah with more than 2,000 factories.
According to the bulletin, national factories topped by type of investment with more than 83.5 percent, followed by foreign companies with 8.5 percent, then jointly invested factories with 8 percent.
Small establishments represented the largest percentage of industrial facilities until the end of the reported period, as they amounted to 5,600 factories, followed by medium factories with 4,300, then large enterprises, which accounted for 824 of the total number of factories.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources announced it has begun evaluating the second tranche of facilities as part of its “Future Factories Program” to modernize the sector.
The initiative seeks to establish a strong technological ecosystem and transform the manufacturing sector based on modern practices and principles.