Croatian International Relations Review

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Hamza E. Albaheth
Associate Professor, Shari’ah and Law Collage, Taif University, Saudi Arabia

The implementation of Vision 2030 in Saudi Arabia has facilitated the process of economic diversification inside the kingdom. As a result, several sectors such as technology, logistics, tourism, renewable energy, finance, professional services, and non-oil industries have witnessed the initiation and progression of projects. Despite the existence of numerous bilateral investment treaties (BITs) within the MENA region and with other foreign nations, Saudi Arabia has encountered challenges in attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs). This can be primarily attributed to legislative restrictions, adherence to Islamic laws, inflexible tariff regulations, and trade policies. This research employed a qualitative methodology to undertake an appreciative inquiry into the aforementioned matters, specifically examining the influence of Saudi Arabian Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) on the movement of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). The study additionally conducted a comparative analysis of the bilateral investment treaties (BITs) of Saudi Arabia and established treaties such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The study's findings indicate that the bilateral treaties established with Saudi Arabia did not yield a significant rise in foreign direct investment (FDI) or commerce between the involved nations. Recommendations are put up to enhance the legal framework in Saudi Arabia with the aim of bolstering foreign direct investment (FDI) and commerce. This can be achieved by formulating more comprehensive and precise regulations under bilateral trade agreements established with other nations.

Keywords: USMCA, Bilateral investment treaties, Foreign direct investments, Saudi Arabia, MENA.