Saudi Arabia rises in Human Development Index

In this March 9, 2018, file photo, an aerial view of Riyadh city is seen from Mamlaka tower, a 99-story skyscraper, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP)
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Updated 16 January 2020

Saudi Arabia rises in Human Development Index

  • “Saudi Arabia’s 2018 HDI of 0.857 is below the average of 0.892 for countries in the very high human development group and above the average of 0.703 for countries in Arab States

RIYADH: The Kingdom ranks second in the Arab World and 36th globally among countries with very high human development, according to a UN index.
The Human Development Index aims to measure prosperity levels in order to enable comparisons between the ability of countries and societies to achieve equality, justice and welfare for their populations.
It stated that Saudi Arabia was ranked 36 among 189 countries, inching up three places from 2018.
It added that the Kingdom’s development index achieved remarkable progress in the period 1990-2018, as the Kingdom’s index was 0.698 points in 1990 and reached 0.857 in 2018, and that the Kingdom’s development index achieved 10th place among the G20 countries.
“Saudi Arabia’s 2018 HDI of 0.857 is below the average of 0.892 for countries in the very high human development group and above the average of 0.703 for countries in Arab States. From Arab States, countries which are close to Saudi Arabia in 2018 HDI rank and to some extent in population size are Iraq and Syrian Arab Republic, which have HDIs ranked 120 and 154 respectively,” the report said.

 


Riyadh governor opens high-profile Saudi economic forum

Updated 2 min 49 sec ago

Riyadh governor opens high-profile Saudi economic forum

RIYADH: A high-profile conference to tackle some of the main challenges facing the Saudi economy was on Tuesday opened by Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar.

Speaking at the opening session of the influential three-day Riyadh Economic Forum (REF), the prince praised the Saudi business community for its cooperation with the government in helping to strengthen the country’s economic fortunes.

The ninth edition of the forum, being held under the title “Human-Centered Economy,” will discuss some of the key future economic issues confronting the Kingdom.

Thanking King Salman for his patronage of the event, vice chairman of Riyadh Chamber and chairman of the forum’s board of trustees, Hamad Al-Shuwaier, said important recommendations linked to the Vision 2030 plan would be announced during the gathering.

These would be related to the areas of public finance reform, the nonprofit sector, future jobs, the environment, and reverse migration.

“What distinguishes the forum, which serves as a research center for national issues, is its focus on the principle of dialogue and participation between all concerned, specialized and responsible parties within the economic and social community, by intensifying meetings and promoting participation in all study discussions, with the aim of touching barriers in a close and intensive manner.

“Accurately diagnosing the facts gives accurate results when identifying solutions,” he added.

Special sessions of the forum will aim to generate practical suggestions and solutions to help with economic decision-making and to establish the principle of dialogue and participation among sectors of the business community.

In July 2019, the REF held a panel discussion at the chamber’s Riyadh headquarters on a study detailing the role of balanced economic development in reverse migration and sustainable and comprehensive development in the Kingdom.

Its focus was to identify the obstacles preventing the movement of young workers between towns and big cities, as well as highlighting ways to improve the quality of life in small urban centers through an analytical survey of industrial and service resources in different regions.

Al-Shuwaier noted that the forum was special in bringing together a broad range of intellectual and practical minds from government and private sector organizations covering many fields.

He added that the chamber was working on the final touches to transforming the forum into an independent economic think tank that served national economic issues.

Ajlan Al-Ajlan, chairman of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), which organized the event, said the forum’s main objectives included using scientific studies and methodology to identify issues affecting the national economy, analyzing constraints on economic growth and working to combat them by learning from the experiences of other countries.

He pointed out that the forum coincided with the Kingdom’s presidency of the 2020 G20 summit of global leaders, being held in Riyadh in November, and that the eyes of the world would be on Saudi Arabia.

The forum is one of the participants in T20, an official G20 engagement group, with four topics related to important sectors discussed by the group.

The opening ceremony of the REF was followed by a session on future jobs, administered by Education Minister Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh. Delegates discussed employment requirements linked to the fourth industrial revolution and how to tackle the prospect of 40 percent of jobs becoming obsolete due to mechanization in the farming and industrial sectors.

The session highlighted that education should go hand in hand to prepare students for the jobs of the future.

Forum data showed its previous eight sessions attracted 33,938 attendees, an average of 4,243 participants per session.