Saudi Arabia improves on inflation, ease of doing business in global competitiveness report

In this photo released by Saudi Press Agency, SPA, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, center, and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, left, attend the opening ceremony of Future Investment Initiative Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince on Tuesday announced plans to build a futuristic city run entirely on alternative sources of energy and said the ultraconservative kingdom must return to “moderate Islam.” (Saudi Press Agency via AP)

RIYADH (Rahnuma): Saudi Arabia has placed second out of 63 countries in the global consumer price index category of the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2020, published by the Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD).

The Kingdom climbed 36 places from its 2019 ranking in that category, thanks largely to its low inflation rates. Saudi Arabia also shot up the rankings in the “ease of starting a new business” category, placing 15th — up from 60th place in 2019.

The Ministry of Commerce issued a statement on the report, saying, “The Kingdom has made unprecedented progress in the (IMD’s rankings), despite the economic conditions resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This great progress reflects the efforts to reform and develop the business environment in Saudi Arabia, as well as the development of legislation to regulate and organize commercial work, taking into consideration the participation of the private sector.”

The World Competitiveness Yearbook is considered to be one of the most comprehensive assessments of nations’ performances in four areas: Economic Performance, Government Efficiency, Business Efficiency and Infrastructure. Overall, the Kingdom ranked 24th this year — up from 26th in 2019 — and was the only country from the Middle East to improve its ranking in 2020. It placed eighth among the members of the G20.

“Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Kingdom has made (great strides in the IMD’s report) and this will encourage foreign investors to (back) more projects in Saudi Arabia,” Dr. Majed Al-Hedayan, a Riyadh-based financial analyst and legal expert, told Arab News. “This report proves the strength of the national economy and the (wisdom of the) measures taken by the government to face the coronavirus crisis.”

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