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Saudi Fund for Development finances $18.4bn worth of projects in developing countries

RIYADH: The Saudi government, represented by the Saudi Fund for Development, has contributed over SR69.1 billion ($18.4 billion) to financing projects for developing countries since the fund’s inception.

SFD financed 697 projects and development programs since it was established in 1975, reported the Arabic newspaper Aleqtisadiah.

The Federation of Saudi Chambers joined hands with the development fund to promote the use of local resources in the procurement of projects and capitalize on ways to maximize benefits to the Kingdom’s business sector.

In a joint statement, both parties agreed on an action plan to encourage the participation of Saudi companies and exporters and provide more access to investment opportunities.

For exporters, the move aims to empower local capabilities by enabling them to export their products and services to foreign markets.

Held on Sept. 7, the meeting witnessed wide participation of fund officials, members of the National Committee for Local Content & Procurement, and national companies.

Director of the Saudi Export Program at SFD, Abdulmohsen Al Khayal, explained that among the Kingdom’s vision 2030 main goals is the development of local content.

He added that this requires integrated work between a number of government agencies and partners from the private sector.

There are already laws in place to motivate the use of local content and the SFD is currently at a stage of ensuring the implementation of those regulations, according to Ayman Al-Hazmi, president of the local content committee.

Most recently, SFD launched a $30 million initiative to improve healthcare and education facilities in Kyrgyzstan.

The fund will finance the project to rehabilitate and expand the General Children’s Emergency Hospital in the capital, Bishkek, as part of a $30 million soft development loan.

The project will help develop the health sector in Kyrgyzstan and improve pediatric services. It will include building and equipping a five-story surgical building designed to hold 212 beds.

Funding for the project includes providing medical and non-medical equipment, furniture for the surgery building, advisory services, and supervising implementation.

Among its other projects announced last month was a $47 million funding for a project in Senegal.

The project involves the rehabilitation and asphalting of a 62-km Oréfondé-Nguidjilone road, to be carried out in accordance with the standards approved by the West African Economic and Monetary Union.

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