Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

Relax and Invest, Saudi Prince Tells Investors after Corruption Crackdown

Relax and Invest, Saudi Prince  Tells Investors after Corruption Crackdown

RIYADH/DUBAI - Three months after Saudi Arabia detained scores of people in a crackdown on corruption, its rulers are trying to reassure investors that the kingdom remains open for business.
Foreign and local investors have long complained about corruption, and confronting it is an important part of reforms unveiled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to transform the country and reduce the economy’s reliance on oil exports.
Yet some business leaders were unsettled by the swoop on top princes, businessmen and government officials in November because of the secrecy around the crackdown and their suspicions that it was at least partly politically motivated.
“This is not a recommendation for why you should invest in Saudi Arabia,” said a Western businessman with extensive contacts in the kingdom. “This whole thing has become one big ball of contradictions.”
Saudi authorities are loathe to say they mishandled the anti-corruption campaign. But top officials, including Prince Mohammed, met senior local businessmen last month to reassure them that the crackdown was mostly over and that it was safe to do business, according to five Saudi and Western sources who spoke with people who attended the meetings. (Reuters)