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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is well on course to achieving its strategic goals of creating a business environment that attracted local and foreign investment, the Kingdom’s trade minister said.
Speaking during a media meeting held at the National Competitiveness Center (NCC) on Tuesday, Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi said the country had made “serious steps” toward meeting its targets.
The minister of commerce and investment, and acting minister of media, said: “The Kingdom is undergoing an unprecedented transformation with continuous mobility in all aspects.” However, he pointed out that the NCC faced a number of future challenges.
The center — established in 2019 following a decision by the Saudi Cabinet — was working to build a competitive national economy in line with the Vision 2030 reform plan by elevating the Kingdom into the top 10 of the most competitive countries in the world.
It aimed to do so by tracking key indicators related to competitiveness, namely legislative environment, security, infrastructure, labor market, government spending, and human capital.
Dr. Iman Al-Mutairi, CEO of the NCC, told Arab News that the center had been empowered, through cooperation with the relevant government agencies, to improve the business environment in the Kingdom, and raise its global competitiveness within international reports and indexShe noted that one of the issues faced by the NCC was overlapping powers between government agencies but said the center had been given the authority to deal with any such problems. “The overlap also exists in some procedures and decisions monitored by the center,” the chief executive added.
The center was working toward providing a unified platform for local and foreign investors — instead of the existing 65 platforms — which would help streamline business operations in the Kingdom, said Al-Mutairi.
She pointed out that this would be done by providing solutions, initiatives, and legislation to fuel an environment that encouraged entrepreneurship and economic growth.
Last year, the NCC launched 96 initiatives with the aim of developing the private sector and enhancing the competitive environment in the country, one of the most prominent being the automation of investment licenses through the scrapping of approximately 50 percent of previous requirements.
The center currently has more than 300 initiatives and reforms in place to address matters affecting the private sector and during 2020 focused on strategic areas including trade and invest
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