By Daniel Shane
World Bank study ranks Saudi 22nd globally for doing business; four places above UAE
Saudi Arabia is the best country in the Middle East for doing business, according to a new study published by the World Bank.
The Gulf kingdom, the world’s largest oil producer, was ranked 22nd globally in the ‘Doing Business 2013’ report, ahead of neighbour the UAE which placed 26th. Elsewhere in the GCC, Qatar came 40th, Bahrain 42nd, Oman 47th and Kuwait 82nd.
On a global basis the report was topped by Singapore, followed by Hong Kong and New Zealand in second and third places, respectively.
Saudi Arabia scored highly in terms of taxation (3rd in the world), investor protection (19th), property registration and access to electricity (both 12th). The kingdom performed poorly when it comes to starting a business (78th globally), enforcing contracts (124th) and resolving insolvency (107th).
According to the International Monetary Fund the Saudi economy is forecast to grow by 6 percent this year.
The study, which polled the opinions of thousands of lawyers, government officials and consultants, praised reforms made by Middle East countries in the past year aimed at easing restrictions on doing business. It found that 47 percent of economies in the region had implemented such reforms in the past year, despite efforts in this space being hampered by the effect of the Arab Spring unrest.
Examples of regional business reform cited by the report included the UAE’s streamlining of start-up requirements, the implementation of an online system to file and pay taxes, and a reduction in the time required to set up an electricity connection.
The World Bank also lauded Oman’s move to guarantee the rights of borrowers to inspect their personal credit data.
“The changes in the region suggest a renewed opportunity for governments to invest in governance structures and increase transparency in parallel with efforts to improve the business regulatory environment,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, director, global indicators and analysis, World Bank Group, in a statement.
“Moving to a system of more transparent, sensible, and business-friendly rules will go a long way toward creating the conditions for more equitable economic growth and a faster pace of job creation,” he added.
Worldwide, the Central African Republic was ranked the worst country in the world for doing business.
Anyone that works with Saudi companies knows that you have a 5% chance, at best, of anyone answering their phones (even main lines) in KSA. This article is very interesting. I'm just a little perplexed since I've been trying to do business in Saudi for years and have all but given up since noone answers the telephone (especially in Jeddah) or replies to emails. I've been told from friends in Saudi that when you phone from a UAE number, it is normally not answered. You need to actually be, physically, IN Saudi to do business. Not sure. Maybe its just me.
Saudi is great for doing business - however contracts are worthless and good luck trying to get paid!
Saudi people are great for doing business with - contracts are NOT worthless and I was always lucky in getting my cash:-)) - at least during the last 10 years****
The easiest and most common way to do business in Saudi is to find a local saudi buissness partner. They are very accustomed to the regulations and government-related documents, and know how to get around them.
I understand that this might not be the way you would like to do your business, but that's how it goes.
And I totally agree about the phone calls. Nobody takes you seriously here unless you're talking to them face to face.
I can tell you for sure having worked with KSA for over 25 years, they are the most courteous people when they are dealing with Europeans , americans and the Brits. Me being an indian but lived all my life in the UK with a british passport got accepted as a brit, but I had to prove myself that I could do as good a job as any brit and better. I just think the brits and the americans get it too easy. Sure I have a sponsor and he gets me the visas, work place , driver, referals and you pay him for these services. I think this makes it easier and profitable for all to work in a country if you are not familiar with.
As far as contacting them, once you have met them, they are happy to exchange mobile numbers and no problem in keeping in contact. As for payments, never had a problem and you have the sponsor to back you, so all is good. If anythink I have only ever faced bad debts from uk firms. And you know how diffecult it can be to get appointments with heads of UK companies.
What is the line of business you have expertize and interested to invest in.
Rafat S turki