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Saudi Arabia Launches SME Finance Program to Help Tourism Businesses

This week, Saudi Arabia launched a new finance program aimed at boosting its tourism sector. With a total value of SAR300 million (over $79 million), the nation’s Tourism Development Fund (TDF) will provide financing and solutions to small and medium enterprises (SME) operating within the sector.

Currently, businesses looking to benefit from the finance program can open an account within 10 minutes, and it can take up to 48 hours to receive initial funding. Each business can borrow a minimum of SAR50 thousand ($13 thousand), or a maximum of SAR3 million (over $7.9 million), with a repayment period of up to 5 years.

The finance program is the result of a signed agreement between the TDF and the Arab National Bank (ANB) in Riyadh. In fact, Obaid Abdullah Al-Rasheed, the CEO of ANB, sat with Qusai Abdullah Al-Fakhri, the CEO of TDF, and other officials from both parties in signing the agreement. Furthermore, Al-Fakhri also discussed the benefits and potentials of the new finance program on SMEs.

"We congratulate TDF and ANB for the launch of the tourism finance program, which will enable micro and small tourism enterprises, which make up 90 percent of establishments within the tourism sector. This will achieve their ambitions in line with the objectives of Vision 2030," Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism, said via Twitter.

Under Vision 2030, in fact, Saudi Arabia is poised to become a regional destination for tourism. This includes developing and maintaining tourism destinations, infrastructures, and businesses within the sector. This will also result to new job opportunities within the private sector. In this part, the TDF was founded in June 2020 in order to finance the growing tourism sector. With a capital worth SAR4 billion (or over $1 billion), it facilitates both indigenous and foreign investors in major parts of Saudi Arabia.

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