Saudi Arabia is best place to do business in ME

JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia has advanced from the 38th to the 23rd position among 178 countries in the World Bank rankings on ease in doing biusiness. In its annual 'Ease of Doing Business' report 2008, the World Bank has recognised Saudi Arabia as one of the world's top reformers.

By Habib Shaikh

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sun 14 Oct 2007, 8:59 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:26 PM

The report ranks Saudi Arabia as the best place to do business in the entire Middle East and Arab World, ahead of Kuwait (in 40th place) and the UAE (68th). The report also ranks Saudi Arabia ahead of advanced economies such as France (31st) and Austria (25th).

"This year Saudi Arabia made bold business reforms making it one of the world's leading reformers. Saudi Arabia is now the top ranked economy in the Middle East," said Jamal Haidar, co-author of the report. "We expect these reforms will continue to position Saudi Arabia as a business-friendly economy," he added.

The Kingdom's exceptional performance in this year's rankings has been driven by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz's vision to increase the prosperity of the people of Saudi Arabia. The King has been the country's strongest advocate for modernising the Saudi business environment. He has sought to encourage domestic and foreign investment in the country by enacting a new foreign investment law, establishing the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), privatising public companies, and pursuing membership to the WTO.

The Governor of SAGIA has since institutionalised efforts to liberalise the country's economy with the creation of the National Competitiveness Center (NCC) and the '10 by 10' initiative.

"Under the King's leadership, Saudi Arabia has acknowledged the importance of competitiveness and has set a goal for the Kingdom to become one of the top 10 most competitive countries in the world by 2010," said Amr Al-Dabbagh, Governor of SAGIA.

The reform agenda is having its desired effect. Saudi Arabia has become the number one recipient of foreign direct investment in the Middle East. Inflows have increased from $2 billion to $18 billion in the last two years. These figures will only grow more rapidly with the development of Saudi Arabia's Economic Cities, special economic zones that are attracting the world's top companies with mega investment opportunities.

"The creation of the National Competitiveness Centre, the establishment of the 10 by 10 programme, and the close collaboration with key government ministries were the critical components behind Saudi Arabia's reform achievements this year," said Dr Awwad Al Awwad, chief of 10 by 10 and Deputy Governor of SAGIA.

He said that the jump in the World Bank rankings from 38th to 23rd is a major step towards achieving the 10 by 10 goal.

He added that the Kingdom's achievements have emboldened the government to continue to build an attractive business environment for investors and a productive, more prosperous economy for its people. SAGIA and the NCC will play a central role in supporting continued efforts to enhance the Kingdom's fundamental competitiveness.


More news from