Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers has approved a measure allowing international engineering consultancies to set up 100 per cent foreign-owned subsidiaries in the kingdom.

The decree was approved on 8 August and will come into effect starting 13 August, a spokesperson for the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (Sagia) tells MEED.

The engineering consultancy must have maintained international operations over a 10-year period to be eligible to apply for the 100 per cent foreign-owned business licence.

The international firms can also set up their operations base anywhere in the kingdom, the source tells MEED.

Many US, European, British and Asian engineering consultancies operate in Saudi Arabia’s construction sector.

Previously, the kingdom required a 60:40 ownership between an international consultancy and a local partner.