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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: The ongoing economic reforms in Saudi Arabia have elevated the Kingdom’s ranking to 17th position in the World Competitiveness Index 2023, placing it much higher than its G20 peers.
The Kingdom jumped seven places from 24th rank in 2022. It held 32nd rank in 2021, according to the Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development.
Supported by Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s elevation in the world ranking is driven by significant progress in all major areas, including economic performance, government efficiency and business environment.
This ascent helped the Kingdom grab a spot much higher than its G20 peers, including South Korea, France and India.
The Kingdom also towered over Japan, Italy, Argentina, Indonesia, Brazil and Turkiye.
First published in 1989, the World Competitiveness Ranking is based on 336 criteria selected from comprehensive research, according to its website.
The annual report is considered a reference point for the competitiveness of countries. It analyzes and ranks countries based on their ability to manage their competencies to create long-term value.
Denmark retained the first spot in the list this year, followed by Ireland, which climbed nine places to grab the second rank. Switzerland held the third position.
Singapore held the fourth spot, while the Netherlands, China and Hong Kong were placed fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.
“Navigating today’s unpredictable environment requires agility and adaptability. Countries which excel are building resilient economies, such as Ireland, Iceland and Bahrain,” said Christos Cabolis, chief economist at the IMD’s World Competitiveness Center.
He said the governments of these countries could also adapt policies based on current economic conditions in a timely fashion.
“The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Singapore are also key examples of this,” added Cabolis.
The index put Sweden in eighth place, followed by the US and the UAE, which claimed ninth and 10th ranks, respectively.
“An increasing number of countries are pursuing their own interests. We are seeing winners and losers in a context in which multiple crises are overlapping, and the world is increasingly divided between protectionist and open-trade economies,” said Arturo Bris, director of the WCC.
In the Middle East region, Qatar climbed six places in the list to grab the 12th spot, while Bahrain rose five notches to the 25th rank.
Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund said Saudi Arabia is the fastest-growing economy among the G20 nations. The Kingdom has made remarkable progress in various sectors, including digitization, regulatory and business environment, and women’s participation in the workforce.
The IMF mission also praised the structural reforms happening in the Kingdom, in line with Vision 2030.
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