Creating and Managing Economic Competitiveness: The Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

The Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA) is an agency established in 2000 to improve the business environment and support foreign investment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This bureau was created out of the Kingdom's landmark Foreign Investment Law of 2000 with the mandate to diversify the economy and provide jobs for its burgeoning youthful people.

The fledgling agency was expected to enlist the support of other government ministries and agencies in reducing impediments to investment-including the politically sensitive "Saudization" policy, which gave employment preference to Saudis over foreign workers-and in marketing Saudi Arabia as a welcoming location for foreign investors. However, the law that had formed SAGIA, gave it few tools to work with. Hence, it had to locate a way to work together with the remaining part of the government to effect change. Prince Abdullah, SAGIA's first governor, retired in 2004, and it would be the job of his successor, Amr Al Dabbagh, to improve SAGIA's mission. It remains to be seen whether Al Dabbagh, a successful businessman, could beat the confrontations that had thus far stymied the youthful bureau.

The case should be used for class discussions of several significant subjects: the issue of cooperation across government bureaucracy with little power or resources; effecting change in an unfavorable political climate - both outside and internal; human capital development with the ability for strategic planning and communications; and the effect of an individual dynamic leader on an organization. HKS Case Number 1926.0

PUBLICATION DATE: February 07, 2011 PRODUCT #: HKS126-PDF-ENG

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