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Saudi Improves Ranking in 2011 Business Report

Saudi Arabia : 04 November 2010

In the annual report Doing Business 2011 Saudi Arabia climbed in rankings while Oman remained firm.

Other than Saudi Arabia and Oman, states in the Gulf fell in the ranks of this annual report published this week by the World Bank and International Finance Corp.

Saudi rose to 11th place, up from their rank of 12 last year.

Managing partner for Morison Menon, an investment advisory firm, Raju Menon stated that reform in registrations are an example of the initiatives that have improved Saudi Arabia’s rank.  Menon suggested that the UAE could also implement similar fast-track application processes and catch up to the Kingdom.

Menon also noted that reductions in the process of setting up a business in the UAE and increases to the foreign shareholding limitations would move that nation in the right direction.

The UAE fell in the report’s rankings from 37 in 2010 to 40 for the recent report.  Bahrain was bumped to 28 down from 25 last year and Kuwait fell from 69 to 74.  Oman held onto its place at 57.

Qatar lost the most ground of all the GCC member nations, falling from 39 in the last report to 50th in the 2011 edition.  Analysts note that the worldwide economical crisis made a serious impact on the rankings for Qatar and the UAE.

Since both Qatar and the UAE were greatly affected by the global crisis, they have been focusing on recovery.  Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, has enjoyed the fruits and welcomed investors into a safer location with plans for sustainable growth, according to Jitendra Gianchandani.  Gianchandani is an advisor, Chairman and Managing Partner at Jitendra Consulting Group.

Menon noted that bureaucratic delay issues are putting a damper on business practices and processes in the UAE.

Licensing for businesses is becoming more saturated with bureaucracy and subsequent delays.  The UAE needs to address this issue states Menon.

Singapore took the top spot in this report for the fifth year in a row.  Ranked as the easiest center to do business, Singapore was ahead of Hong Kong, New Zealand, the UK and the USA.  Within the group of 25 national economies, 18 made improvements since the last report was released.

The Doing Business report, subtitled Making a Difference for Entrepreneurs, is the eighth such report issued ranking 183 economic centers on how business regulations are handled for domestic companies.

Within the list of the 40 economies displaying the most improvements, China and India made notable progress.

The last year has seen 117 different economies make 216 reforms to regulation with the aim of making it simpler to begin and operate a domestic business.

Neil Gregory of the World Bank Group noted that governments across the globe have made consistent improvements toward empowering local entrepreneurs.  Gregory is the Acting Director for Global Indicators and Analysis at the firm.

Over the last five years, around 85 per cent of economies around the world have streamlined and improved business regulations, including 1,511 specific improvements aimed at local entrepreneurs.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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