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The World Bank: Saudi Arabia -Top Reformer and Top Improver among 190 countries worldwide

23 October 2019 - 23 October 2019

Saudi Arabia has achieved prominent progress in the World Bank Group's Doing Business 2020 report climbing up 30 places from last year, making it the Top reformer and Top improver among 190 economies around the world. 

The Kingdom has reduced the gap with the best performing economies by 7.7 points—the highest in the world for any country this year.

Saudi Arabia’s progress in the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2020 report is a result of the diverse reforms introduced in laws, regulations and procedures, in cooperation with more than 50 government entities and in coordination with the private sector. 

Commenting on the report results, H.E. Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr. Majid Bin Abdullah Al-Kassabi, Chairman of the National Competitiveness Center (NCC),  explained that Saudi Arabia is today one of the world’s most prominent investment destinations, and the business reforms carried out have improved the business environment, enhanced Saudi Arabia’s competitiveness and increased its ranking in global reports. 

H.E. Minister Al- Kassabi added, “We will continue to work on further improvements in keeping with our 2030 vision of private-sector transformation to create a world-class business friendly environment and transform the Kingdom into one of 10 most competitive economies in the world.”

Dr. Simeon Djankov Founder of the World Bank "Doing Business" report, Senior Director of Research at The World Bank said: “Saudi Arabia has made rapid progress in improving its business climate over the past year. This progress signals the value the government places on nurturing entrepreneurship and the private enterprise for a vibrant economy.”

Several Reforms were identified in the Doing Business Report 2020, which included streamlining and automating administrative procedures, and data sharing among different entities, making it possible for investors and entrepreneurs to start their business electronically. The issuance of construction permits has also been reformed through the automation of procedures through Balady Portal. Trading across borders is another area where the Kingdom has also made important progress, by reducing the time required for clearing shipments at seaports to only 24 hours, and pre-arrival clearance for ocean shipping. Additionally, Fasah, a one-stop-shop import and export portal has been developed. 

The Kingdom has also implemented impactful reforms in the area of contract enforcement by allowing filing of cases, registration, referral, notification, and publication of verdicts’ electronically. The duration of commercial court hearings has been reduced, and the number of adjournments limited to a maximum of 3.

The Doing Business report, which was established in 2002, measures the performance of 190 countries through 10 indicators.