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All you need to know about trading with Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has always been an attractive location for several different reasons. The Saudi stock market and the import and export business has certainly always been one of them. However, if you are considering doing any type of trading business that has any connection with this great county, you better be sure you are ready to be extra meticulous and to do the needed work. So, since trading with Saudi Arabia is no joke, here are a few important facts that you must be acquainted with.

Important facts about trading with Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, there are plenty of business opportunities that are attracting foreign traders or business partners. Nevertheless, if you are one of them you must keep in mind that the Saudis have a unique view on many aspects of life. Business is no exception. Thus, get to know the market and the business habits of this unique country before you dive headfirst into any business prospect.

a person trading with Saudi Arabia through their stock market over the phone.
The Saudi stock market is a great place for your future investments.

Foreigners weren’t always welcome

Not that long ago the stock market wasn’t open for business when it came to foreigners. Finally, in the fall of 2015 drastic changes occurred. That is when the doors were opened for foreign stakeholders. As the years are going by Saudi Arabian ways of doing business are shifting towards less conservative business practices. Still, they are far away from being liberal. They are no way near to the United States or European countries. Consequently, current business opportunities are expanding, and that trend will most likely continue.

Why is trading with Saudi Arabia a good idea?

The market is very liquid and diversified. Consequently, it is very attractive in many different perspectives. If you decide to jump into this market you can be certain that all good investment requirements are covered. In the stock exchange, there are approximately 160 companies. Those companies all together every day go through transactions that equal to 2.5 billion dollars. Since the exchanges are linked to the US currency, the stock market is even more inviting. The dollar minimizes the issues caused by the currency fluctuation. In return, all related stress is minimized.

Largest sectors in Saudi Arabia

This fact will be no surprise. Any type of petrochemical business dominates the Saudi market. Other sectors that have larger influences over the market are consumer foods, banking, and telecommunications. This fact will surely come as a surprise. This country is one of the top countries in the world in mobile data usage. Therefore, no wonder telecommunication companies are a big deal.

an oil field during sunset.
The petrochemical industry is by far the most dominant industry in the Saudi market.

Are there any risks associated with trading in Saudi Arabia?

Of course, just like any business transaction, trading with any Saudi company is related to certain risks. Naturally, some might think that the risks are related to geopolitical changes. Yet, that is not the case. It is quite the opposite. Geopolitical changes can be a positive factor in the stability of the Saudi market. When the oil prices are driven up, there is an influx of money into the government accounts.

Though, there are other risks you might come across. The main one being the lack of transparency by the Saudi Arabian companies. The lack of disclosure can give investors an incorrect picture of the current state of certain local businesses.

The government is taking actions to make the market more attractive

Saudi Arabian government is well aware of this risk and how it is perceived by outsiders. That is why they are taking concrete actions to make significant changes. Strives are being made, where local companies are obligated to be more open and transparent. Thus, if you were worried about this risk, you can be assured that the situation is dramatically improving. No need to cancel your move on Your business move to SA despite this risk has the potential to be extremely successful.

Trade laws associated with Saudi Arabia

There are more than a few laws linked to the Saudi trading business. However, these are the three most important laws.

  • Import licenses – There are certain items that require special permits to be traded. These permits are usually classified as import licenses.
  • Export controls – All Saudi exporters are obligated to have a copy of their business enrollment. The authentication of the origin is performed by the Ministry of Commerce.
  • Export documents and import documents – when exporting or importing goods there are strict rules regarding needed documentation. The needed documents differ based on the products that are being imported or exported.
Three old books
Saudi laws are very strict. If not followed, in the best-case scenario you will be looking at some pretty stiff penalties.

Moving to Saudi Arabia for business

It is not uncommon to hear that some are moving to Saudi Arabia in pursuit of their business goals and ambitions. Not only is this a challenge business-wise, but it can also be a challenge from a cultural perspective. Adjusting to a new country is hard enough. That is why you don’t need the stress of relocation on your plate as well. Hire professional movers with international experience to cover all your moving needs.

If you are moving to SA only for some time, you will not be able to take all your belonging with you. Subsequently, some of your belongings will be left behind. You can easily find a solution for this, by renting out a storage unit to temporarily store your precious belongings.


Trading with Saudi Arabia can be very inviting. Clearly, there are several very inviting benefits to diving into such a business venture. Even though, Saudi business customs may drastically differ from what you are accustom to, be openminded. Working within a conservative culture implies clearly that business should be done in a similar manner. So, be prepared to be open-minded and to embrace new laws and even some new and unusual customs. In the end, all the efforts and the adjustments can be well worth it. You will not regret it as soon as your first profits hit your business bank account.

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