SAGIA aims to get Kingdom in top 20 for ease of doing business by 2020

Saudi Arabia is introducing measures to improve the speed and ease of doing business in the Kingdom. (Getty)
Updated 03 May 2018

SAGIA aims to get Kingdom in top 20 for ease of doing business by 2020

  • Kingdom has introduced new laws on arbitration and insolvency and plans to speed up the business visa process
  • “We are a model for the whole world in how to improve the business environment," says SAGIA chief

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia wants to be in the top 20 countries measured by “ease of doing business” by 2020, the head of the Kingdom’s investment promotion agency, the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) said on Thursday.

Ibrahim Al-Omar, SAGIA governor, said that there were a lot of reforms that would have to be accomplished if it were to achieve top 20 status as measured annually by the World Bank, which put the Kingdom at number 92 in the world out of 190 countries.

But he said that there was a “great interest” among international investors to get more involved in business in the Kingdom and reforms were being pushed through fast.

“We are a model for the whole world in how to improve the business environment”, he said, highlighting the new arbitration and insolvency laws, the efficiency of the Kingdom’s ports, and the ease and speed of getting a business visa.

“There has been some negative feedback on the insolvency laws, but really they are a protection tool for any business. It will give you the opportunity to reschedule your liabilities,” Al-Omar said.

He met around 400 companies in the UK and US when he accompanied the royal tour of those countries, and told them of the Kingdom’s investment potential.

But he said there were risks perceived by international investors because of the limited clarity and awareness of reforms in the Kingdom. “It is hard to communicate when we’re going so fast,” he said.

Al-Omar, who described SAGIA as a provider of “VIP concierge services” for potential investors, also said that there was only limited market information about the investment opportunities available, and that SAGIA was setting up an online portal listing all potential deals on offer.


Saudi investment minister stresses importance of public-private partnership for sustainable growth

Updated 5 min 13 sec ago

Saudi investment minister stresses importance of public-private partnership for sustainable growth

  • Falih: Saudi Arabia is taking all measures to identify the challenges facing the business community

RIYADH: Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih on Wednesday stressed the need for a strong public-private partnership to ensure sustainable growth.
He was addressing a session at the World Digital Summit organized by the Financial Times in cooperation with the Ministry of Investment and G20 Saudi Secretariat.
Al-Falih said governments must build real partnerships with the private sector.
Highlighting the importance of investor satisfaction, the minister said “transparency and clarity of regulations” give the business community a sense of security.
He said Saudi Arabia is taking all measures to identify the challenges facing the business community, particularly during the ongoing pandemic.
Al-Falih said the Saudi government has taken several measures to protect investors.
He said the Kingdom’s economy is one of the most resilient economies in the world, and it is evident from the fact that despite the pandemic, Saudi Arabia continued with its development projects.
Al-Falih also highlighted
the important role of youth in a country’s development.
He said the Kingdom considers its people particularly the youth its true wealth.
The Saudi government is taking steps to empower the youth and create opportunities for them to contribute to national development, Al-Falih said.
Experts and business leaders from around the world are taking part in the four-day summit. They will discuss issues related to the digital economy, sustainable development, and creating job opportunities.