This week, Saudi Arabia announced the establishment of a new Special Economic Zone called the “Integrated Logistics Bonded Zone” (ILBZ), at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport (RUH). The ILBZ will focus on integrated logistics and will enjoy special rules and regulations aimed at attracting more multinational companies to Saudi Arabia.
In 2016, Saudi Arabia declared its Vision 2030 development plans, one facet of which will establish several economic zones in competitive locations to attract multinational companies in growing sectors, including information and communication technologies, logistics, tourism, industrial and financial services, into the country. Saudi Arabia seeks to leverage its growing infrastructure and strategic location between Europe, Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa.
ILBZ’s integrated logistics services are designed to support multinational companies’ activities, including warehousing and fulfillment, inventory management, maintenance and repairs, staging, testing and assembly. As a unified hub where companies can engage in these activities and access multi-modal logistics offerings via air, land and sea, ILBZ is expected to further Saudi Arabia’s goals to become a regional and global logistics hub.
The ILBZ’s establishment and operation will be managed by the General Authority for Civic Aviation as the zone governing body, while the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) will work to attract investment. SAGIA governor Ibrahim Al-Omar said that the ILBZ’s location within less than seven hours’ distance to consumers on three continents represents a significant opportunity for multinational companies to enhance their operations and market reach.