Saudi Arabia Partners with Ant International to Boost Digital Innovation

The Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ant International to facilitate the company's business expansion into the Kingdom. The partnership aims to promote technological innovation and economic growth opportunities in Saudi Arabia.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Saudi Arabia Partners with Ant International to Boost Digital Innovation

Saudi Arabia Partners with Ant International to Boost Digital Innovation

The Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ant International to facilitate the company's business expansion into the Kingdom. The partnership aims to promote technological innovation and economic growth opportunities in Saudi Arabia.

Why this matters: This partnership has significant implications for the growth of digital payments and financial services in the Middle East, and could pave the way for further foreign investment in Saudi Arabia's technology sector. As Saudi Arabia continues to diversify its economy, collaborations like this one will play a crucial role in driving innovation and economic development.

The MoU signing ceremony took place in Riyadh and was attended by Mr. Eng Saleh Khabti, Deputy Minister of Investment of Saudi Arabia, and Douglas Feagin, President of Ant International. Through this agreement, MISA will support Ant International in establishing an entity in Saudi Arabia and assist with acquiring necessary licenses and certificates to expand its service offerings.

Ant International plans to use Saudi Arabia as a key gateway into the Middle East to further expand the reach of its payment and financial services. The company's expansion is expected to benefit local merchants of all sizes and boost the Kingdom's financial services sector.

Mr. Eng Saleh Khabti, Deputy Minister for Investment at MISA, stated, "We have worked closely with Ant International on its expansion into the Kingdom which will not only benefit thousands of merchants across the country but potentially hundreds of thousands of businesses right across the Middle East."

Douglas Feagin, President of Ant International, expressed his optimism about the partnership, saying, "We see an enormous opportunity for expansion in the Middle East and in particular Saudi Arabia, which has been supportive of technological innovations and digitalization, empowering its businesses to thrive." He added, "Through our agreement with MISA, Ant International enters an exciting new chapter of opportunity within Saudi Arabia. We're delighted to build upon our progress in the Middle East to support merchants' access to our world-class payment solutions and inclusive financial services, providing Saudi businesses with various tools to grow and benefit from international travel and trade."

Headquartered in Singapore, Ant International powers the future of global commerce with digital innovation for everyone and every business to thrive. The company's strategy comprises four services for global merchants: Alipay+ cross-border mobile payment and digitalization technology solutions, Antom merchant payment services, WorldFirst digital payment and financial services for cross-border trade, and ANEXT Bank, a digital wholesale bank regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, along with other embedded financial services.

TheMinistry of Investmentof Saudi Arabia (MISA) is facilitating access to foreign direct investment (FDI) opportunities at an unprecedented pace under the Vision 2030 plan. MISA coordinates across the Saudi government to create a competitive investment environment that provides stability and clarity for investors. The ministry is also responsible for overseeing the implementation of Saudi Arabia's National Investment Strategy (NIS), an ambitious plan launched in October 2021 to make private sector investors – both local and international – true partners in development.

The partnership between MISA and Ant International marks a significant step forward in Saudi Arabia's efforts to attract foreign investment, foster technological innovation, and create new economic opportunities. As Ant International establishes its presence in the Kingdom, it is poised to play a key role in the digitalization of the country's financial services sector and contribute to the realization of Saudi Arabia'sVision 2030 goals.