Our first edition of 2022 focuses on Healthcare and Life Sciences. It is a sector that will once again have the spotlight on it this year as we continue to tackle COVID-19 and its subsequent variants. While the pandemic continues to challenge the sector, governments across the region forge ahead with their plans to expand and upgrade healthcare systems and develop robust world-class healthcare infrastructure.
For the region, healthcare is a vital pillar in diversifying its economies, both locally and as medical tourism hubs. To underpin this, healthcare authorities across the region continue to implement frameworks and regulations that provide structure and accountability.
In this edition, you have unique access to great insights and expert commentary on a number of pertinent healthcare regulatory developments. You will find a topical mix of articles; for example, our lawyers discuss vaccines and returning to work during the pandemic. They take you through several other areas, including stem cell research in Bahrain, clinical research laws in Egypt, and Saudi medical device and pharmaceutical laws.Take a read of the edition
The Regional Headquarter (“RHQ”) Programme is a ‘Vision 2030’ initiative jointly developed by the Ministry of Investment Saudi Arabia (“MISA”) and the Royal Commission for Riyadh City (“RCRC”), with the objective of inviting global companies to establish or relocate their regional headquarters in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
It is a major development strategy for the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as it seeks to transform Riyadh into one of the top 10 city economies globally by the year 2030. The Board of the RCRC has confirmed the Government’s proposal to double the current population of Riyadh to between fifteen and twenty million, while increasing the number of visitors to more than forty million by the year 2030.
MISA has now issued the first set of guidelines for companies wishing to participate in the RHQ Programme and the team at Al Tamimi & Company has extensive corporate structuring experience to provide guidance and assistance to foreign companies who propose to establish their RHQ in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Pursuant to the initial guidelines, MISA defines RHQ as “a unit of a multinational group, duly established under the laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for the purpose of supporting, managing, and providing strategic direction to its branches, subsidiaries and affiliates operating in the Middle East North Africa region.”
To be eligible for the RHQ Programme, the investor must have at least two (2) subsidiaries or branches of the multinational group in two (2) different countries other than the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its country of incorporation (i.e. its official headquarters).
In addition and amongst other requirements, the RHQ must:
The RHQ must provide and be licensed to carry out:
– strategic direction activities (which includes for example, formulating and monitoring regional strategy); and
– management functions (which includes for example, business planning).
While the practical implication is yet to be confirmed, MISA has indicated that the following types of incentives will apply:
Importantly, the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced that foreign investors wishing to secure government contracts, must have their RHQ in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in order to be eligible to secure these government contracts – (this is to be in law by 1 January 2024).
How this will be managed or implemented on a practical level is yet to be seen, but we have no doubt that this requirement will materially alter the investment landscape in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the coming years.
Al Tamimi & Company is actively monitoring these significant developments and the team is in regular contact with MISA officials so that we remain at the forefront of these regulatory changes.
Please contact our Saudi based corporate structuring team for any queries and we would be delighted to assist with the regulatory applications to obtain the RHQ Licence.