Saudi Arabia is the world’s most improved economy, according to the World Bank’s 2020 “Doing Business” report. Jumping an impressive 30 positions, the Kingdom currently ranks 62nd globally with a score of 71.6. In 2018/2019, Saudi Arabia had ranked 92nd with a score of 63.5.
The report credited H.R.H. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for implementing and promoting the Kingdom as “an open world-class investment destination” through Vision 2030.
Saudi Arabia was further recognized in tandem with Jordan, Togo, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, China, India and Nigeria for implementing one-fifth of all global regulatory reforms in 2018/2019. In total, the Kingdom executed 8 reforms within the following business areas: Starting a business, getting construction permits, getting electricity, getting credit, protecting minority investors, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.
Primary regulatory reforms acknowledged by the World Bank include the elimination of paid-in minimum capital requirements and the establishment of a one-stop shop merging several registration procedures which eased the process by which to do business in the Kingdom.
The Kingdom also eased cross-border trading through the launch of an online platform for the certification of imported goods and the adoption of an electronic trade single window which made importing and exporting faster.
Meanwhile, resolving insolvency was simplified due to a new reorganization procedure which allows debtors to initiate restructuring of firms, improving voting arrangements in reorganization, improving the continuation of business, and the treatment of contracts during insolvency proceedings.
Other regulatory reforms included:
- The adoption of a new online platform which eased the process by which to obtain a construction permit.
- The streamlining of connection and meter installations to retrieve new electrical connection requests, thus eliminating certifications of completion.
- The introduction of a secured transactions law which bolstered access to credit.
- Increasing access to evidence during trials which strengthened minority investors protections.
- The publication of court performance measurements reports and information on the progress of cases which eased the enforcement of contracts.