With ambitious plans to transform its economy as part of the crown prince's Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is hoping to boost foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country as it embarks on a post-oil era and ambitious mega projects like the futuristic city of NEOM.
Ibrahim Al-Omar, governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), said foreign direct investment (FDI) was growing in Saudi Arabia.
Official figures from the World Bank show FDI net inflows were $7.453 billion in 2016 while net outflows were $8.936 in the same year.
Since then, however, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has appeared to take the reigns on transforming the economy and society by introducing a raft of liberalizing reforms.
An anti-corruption purge led by the crown prince last year caused concern among some business leaders, but Al-Omar said foreign investment was now growing, but didn't give more detail.
"We have seen a growth for foreign investment — about 50 percent comparing the first quarter this year to the same period last year. Also, the (FDI) inflows we have seen about 40 percent," Al-Omar told CNBC's Hadley Gamble as she hosted a session on the Saudi Arabian FDI landscape at the Gateway Gulf investment forum in Bahrain.