Saudi Arabia has introduced trading licenses that will allow foreign entrepreneurs to set up a business in the Kingdom for the first time.
The initiative, announced Wednesday by several Saudi regulators, will enable select businesses to establish themselves in the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC). The KAEC is the world's first publicly listed city and was established by the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in 2005.
"We believe the future of the (Saudi) economy is the knowledge economy, so we can't do that without entrepreneurs from all over the world," KAEC CEO Fahd Al-Rasheed told CNBC on Wednesday.
More than 11 licenses have been handed out to entrepreneurs in different sectors, Al-Rasheed said.
He added: "We've offered entrepreneurs incentives to come into Saudi Arabia so it doesn't only require regulatory approvals but also access to market — we're giving them free office space, free education for their children, anything that they ask for."
Al-Rasheed said the project aims to take advantage of technological advancements like driverless cars, a tech currently led by U.S. firms like Tesla and Google's Waymo.