Top multinationals seek unique opportunities in MENA. By setting up regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia. With the help of a local partner, these businesses are accessing exclusive projects ripe with promise.
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Saudi Arabia’s mission towards less oil-dependent strategies is reflected in boosted support for privatization. As a result, and in line with the projected goals for Saudi Vision 2030, the Saudi government has been rolling out policies to motivate multinationals to set up their regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia.
Tech giants such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Siemens have already witnessed firsthand the deep well of opportunities that the Kingdom is shaping up to be. These global enterprises have set up shops in Saudi Arabia through their respective RHQs, and the ripple effect is attestable. Google, for example, has expended around 3.25 billion USD in the Saudi market in 2021 alone.
As part of an ongoing collaborative effort with the Ministry of Investment in Saudi Arabia (MISA), AstroLabs is guiding global businesses through the process of establishing their state-licensed RHQs in the Kingdom.
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What Qualifies as RHQ?
For a unit to be considered an RHQ and be licensed as one, it has to fit a number of criteria.
To start, the RHQ needs to operate as a registered foreign company or branch in Saudi Arabia and have at least 2 subsidiaries or branches located outside the Kingdom and the multinational’s country of incorporation.
The RHQ must have a physical presence and should only be used for regional administrative purposes. An RHQ does not conduct any kind of commercial activity. Any commercial operation is to be handled by MISA-licensed affiliates.
In practical terms, an RHQ is in service of its subsidiaries and affiliates in MENA, providing them with strategic direction and management operations.
Your RHQ License Comes with Perks
A continually growing number of multinationals are setting up their RHQs in the Kingdom for a good reason. An RHQ license provides certain facilitations that allow the company to operate with ease within Saudi territories. These include a 10-year exemption from Saudization, a policy that requires private companies to hire a certain percentage of Saudi talent.
Another exemption is one on visa limit, supported by an acceleration in issuance. Professional accreditation is waived for RHQ license holders as well.
Benefits such as spouse work permits, an extension in dependent age (pushed up to 25 years), and end-to-end services also apply.
Contributing to the Kingdom’s Future
Perhaps the most interesting advantage for a multinational expanding through RHQ is government tendering. License holders will be eligible to bid on ongoing and future projects affiliated with the Saudi government.
By 2030, Saudi Arabia is striving for 267 billion USD in government revenues, 2 trillion USD worth of Public International Fund assets, and enough jobs to ensure a 5% decrease in unemployment.
This presents a great deal of opportunities, considering the Kingdom’s assertive development strategy, which calls for the expertise and ambition of big businesses across multiple sectors. In that light, it is necessary for global entrepreneurs to find a solid local partner who can assist them in establishing their base of operations. This is where our expansion teams come in.
AstroLabs offers businesses step-by-step guidance on how to expand in Saudi Arabia through RHQ, joining the likes of Apple and Google. We walk you through the required procedures so you can be directly engaged in promising commissions and collaborations in Saudi Arabia and have the chance to contribute to ambitious and impactful giga-projects.