International companies that want to participate in the Saudi government’s investment opportunities “will have to make a choice” and establish regional headquarters in the kingdom as of 2024 or they will not win government contracts, the Saudi finance minister told Reuters yesterday. Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest economy and the world’s largest oil exporter, plans to cease contracting with companies and commercial institutions whose regional headquarters are not located in the Kingdom in a move aimed at encouraging foreign firms to open a permanent, in-country presence that would help create local jobs. They will, however, be free to work with the private sector. “If a company refused to move their headquarters to Saudi Arabia it is absolutely their right and they will continue to have the freedom to work with the private sector in Saudi Arabia,” Mohammed al-Jadaan said. “But as long as it is related to the government contracts, they will have to have their regional headquarters here.” He added that some sectors will be exempt from the decision, and detailed regulations will be issued before the end of 2021. Read more.