Saudi ranks 13th in Doing Business report
Riyadh, September 9, 2009
The World Bank has placed Saudi Arabia as the 13th most competitive country in the world in its annual Doing Business report. The report also ranks the kingdom ahead of advanced economies such as Japan, Germany, France and Switzerland.
For the fifth consecutive year, the report ranks Saudi Arabia as the best place to do business in the entire Middle East and Arab World, ahead of Bahrain (20th), the UAE (33rd) and Qatar (39th).
While Saudi Arabia holds the lead position, improvements in the region generally indicate it is a global hot-spot for major investors.
The World Bank praised several of Saudi Arabia's recent reforms which drove the country's increased ranking this past year. These reforms made it easier to do business in Saudi Arabia by reducing the required complexity, time, and cost to start a business and obtain construction permits in the Kingdom.
The Kingdom is now well poised to achieve its goal of becoming one of the top 10 most competitive countries by 2010.
"Saudi Arabia's reforms demonstrate our determination to create the most attractive destination for investment opportunities in the world. We invite investors to learn more about the positive business environment in the Kingdom and to join in the growth of the business community," said Amr Al-Dabbagh, governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
Saudi Arabia has shown significant improvements in the Doing Business rankings over the last five years, leaping from 67th position in 2004, to 38th in 2006, 16th in 2007 and to this year's ranking of 13th. The kingdom's exceptional performance has been driven by the vision of His Majesty King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, to modernise the Saudi business environment, thereby attracting greater participation from foreign investors in the economy of the kingdom. He has encouraged domestic and foreign investment in the country by enacting a new foreign investment law, establishing Sagia, privatizing public companies, and achieving membership in the WTO.
The governor of Sagia has since institutionalized efforts to improve the competitiveness of the Saudi Arabian economy with the creation of the National Competitiveness Center (NCC) and the "10 x 10" initiative. "Under His Majesty's leadership, Saudi Arabia has set a goal for the kingdom to become one of the top 10 most competitive countries in the world by 2010. Government ministries, private companies, investors, and the Saudi public have collaborated extensively to strive towards this vision," explained Al-Dabbagh.
"Competitiveness drives economic growth and contributes to sustained prosperity, encouraging entrepreneurship and the creation of new jobs. The Doing Business report is a vital reference for governments, international development agencies, and the private sector to assess the regulatory framework and competitiveness of nations. Saudi Arabia's increased competitiveness signals the ongoing development of a dynamic and diversified economy in the Kingdom," said Dr Awwad Al-Awwad, deputy governor for investment affairs at Sagia and President of the NCC. - TradeArabia News Service