Saudi Arabia is the best country in the Middle East for doing business, according to a new study published by the World Bank. (Bloomberg).
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 neighbor 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.