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Business Dynamics: Saudi Arabia

April 2021

Saudi Arabia’s business climate is continuously improving. The tax regime and road infrastructure remain among the most favourable regionally. In addition, rapid development of the ICT sector is expected to accelerate economic diversification and modernisation. Nevertheless, the country faces a number of challenges, including the lack of a comprehensive legal framework, judicial corruption, a deepening skilled workforce crisis and rising labour costs.

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Overview:

The Country Briefings series examine market potential, economic and consumer trends impacting each country and how they are set to change.

Each Country Briefing covers one of these topics:

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Business Dynamics: A stable and competitive business environment is vital to operate efficiently and attract inward investment. Businesses can assess these factors alongside challenges such as corruption, political instability and terrorism, also gain insight into business operating environment and make strategic investment decisions. Transport infrastructure, ICT readiness and labour force dynamics will also identify potential issues with a supply chain and the level of workforce skills.

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The briefings cover 103 countries and identify topics of crucial interest to planners, marketers and researchers.

Business Dynamics: Saudi Arabia

HEADLINES

OPERATIONAL AND REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT

Rapid liberalisation of legal system boosts Saudi Arabia’s position in global rankings

FINANCING AND INVESTMENT

Lack of economic freedom hampers investments sustainability

SKILLS AND LABOUR

Skills shortage becomes a major barrier for economic overhaul

TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Saudi government to further boost the country’s logistics network quality

DIGITALISATION AND INNOVATION

Saudi Arabia retains a weak standing in innovation rankings

OPERATIONAL AND LEGAL ENVIRONMENT

Chart 1 Operational and Legal Environment Key Indicators Chart 2 Ease of Doing Business Ranking by Pillar Regional Comparison 2020 Chart 3 Ease of Doing Business Ranking Regional Comparison 2015-2020 Chart 4 Ease of Doing Business Indicators: Time Needed to Start/Close a Business 2020 Chart 5 Ease of Doing Business Indicators: Costs Incurred to Start and Operate a Business 2020 Chart 6 Tax Rates 2020 Chart 7 Global Competitiveness Ranking by Pillar in Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2019 Chart 8 Global Competitiveness Ranking for Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2014-2019 Chart 9 Global Competitiveness Index: Macroeconomic Stability Pillar for Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2014-2019 Chart 10 Index of Economic Freedom Ranking by Pillar in Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2020 Chart 11 Index of Economic Freedom Ranking Over Time 2015-2020 Chart 12 Index of Economic Freedom: Judicial Effectiveness Pillar Rank in Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2017-2020 Chart 13 Index of Economic Freedom: Government Integrity Pillar Rank in Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2015-2020 Chart 14 Number of New Businesses and Annual Real GDP Growth in Saudi Arabia 2015-2020 Chart 15 New Business Density in Saudi Arabia Compared to Regional Average 2015-2020 Chart 16 Operational Environment in Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2019 Chart 17 Corruption Perceptions Ranking: Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2014-2019

FINANCING AND INVESTMENTS

Chart 18 Key Financial and Investment Indicators Chart 19 Ease of Doing Business Ranking: Getting Credit Pillar for Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2015-2020 Chart 20 Soundness of Credit Information: Credit Bureau Coverage 2020 Chart 21 Global Competitiveness Ranking: Financial Systems Pillar for Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2014-2019 Chart 22 Ease of Doing Business Ranking: Protecting Minority Investors Pillar for Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2015-2020 Chart 23 Index of Economic Freedom: Property Rights Pillar Rank in Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2015-2020 Chart 24 Number of Companies Admitted to Listing on the Exchange and Market Capitalisation Dynamics 2015-2019 Chart 25 Stock Market Index in Saudi Arabia and Selected Regional Countries 2015-2020 Chart 26 Stocks Traded as % of GDP in Saudi Arabia and Selected Regional Economies 2014-2019 Chart 27 Bank Claims on the Private Sector as % of GDP 2015-2020

SKILLS AND LABOUR

Chart 28 Key Skills and Labour Indicators Chart 29 Global Competitiveness Ranking: Skills Pillar for Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2014-2019 Chart 30 Population Aged 15+ with Higher Education 2015-2020 Chart 31 Education Indicators 2020 Chart 32 Number of University Graduates by Programme 2020 Chart 33 Global Competitiveness Ranking: Labour Market Pillar for Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2014-2019 Chart 34 Employment by Age 2020 Chart 35 Employment by Gender 2020 Chart 36 Labour Structure Change over 2015-2020 Chart 37 Labour Structure Comparison 2020 Chart 38 Self Employed as % of Total Employed Population 2020 Chart 39 Index of Economic Freedom: Labour Pillar Rank in Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2015-2020 Chart 40 Wage per Hour in Manufacturing Sector over 2015-2020 Chart 41 Labour Market Regulations in Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison Chart 42 Employment by Industry Sector 2020

TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Chart 43 Key Infrastructure Indicators Chart 44 Logistics Performance Index Scores by Pillar in Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2020 Chart 45 Logistics Performance Index Ranking for Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2015-2020 Chart 46 Global Competitiveness Ranking: Product Pillar for Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2014-2019 Chart 47 Global Competitiveness Ranking: Infrastructure Pillar for Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2014-2019 Chart 48 Transportation Mode Indicators in Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison Chart 49 Road Infrastructure 2020 Chart 50 Ease of Doing Business Ranking: Trading Across Borders Pillar for Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2015-2020 Chart 51 Transaction Time for Trading Across Borders 2020 Chart 52 Costs of Trade Transactions Across Borders 2020 Chart 53 Global Competitiveness Ranking: Market Size Pillar for Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2014-2019

DIGITALISATION AND INNOVATION

Chart 54 Innovation and Digitalisation Key Indicators Chart 55 Network Readiness Ranking by Pillar in Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2020 Chart 56 Network Readiness Ranking for Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2019-2020 Chart 57 Network Readiness Ranking: Technology Pillar for Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2019-2020 Chart 58 Global Competitiveness Ranking: ICT Adoption Pillar for Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2014-2019 Chart 59 Global Competitiveness Index: Innovation Pillar for Saudi Arabia and Regional Comparison 2014-2019 Chart 60 Intellectual Property: Saudi Arabia Compared to Selected Regional Peers

APPENDIX A

The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index (Doing Business) 2020

APPENDIX B

The Global Competitive Index (GCI) 2019

APPENDIX C

The 2020 Index of Economic Freedom

APPENDIX D

The Logistics Performance Index (LPI) 2020

APPENDIX E

The Network Readiness Index (NRI) 2020
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