Hello All …
I am glad to let you know that I have moved the blog to a new home; it is self hosted now.
I am now at http://www.aneyeonsaudi.org
Please modify your bookmarks/RSS readers with the new address; see you there 🙂
Saad Al Dosari
Few days to the kick off of the Global Competitiveness Forum 2010 taking place in Riyadh. Prominent leaders and heavy businesses’ names will gather to talk and discuss investments and economics.
Such a big event to be hosted in Riyadh is something we should all respect and admire. However, it makes you wonder, what is really global competitiveness and how Saudi Arabia is performing in this field anyway?
[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=Saudi+Arabia&iid=5165658″ src=”7/e/3/1/view_of_the_0f8b.jpg?adImageId=9333455&imageId=5165658″ width=”234″ height=”184″ /]The answer can be found in the Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010 issued by the World Economic Forum. It is a really interesting read for those concerned with economics, investments and regulations in general, or for those who are only curious like myself 🙂
Here are some highlights related to Saudi Arabia in case you do not want to go through the 492 pages PDF file.
– What is competitiveness anyway?
Competitiveness is usually associated with countries’ economies and their ability to sustain growth and maintain improvements to prosper and keep a healthy status.
– How competitiveness is measured?
Many economical factors are studies and evaluated to rank the overall country’s position in regard to others. These factors are grouped under what the report likes to call ‘the 12 pillars of competitiveness’ and they are: (Institutions, Infrastructure, Macroeconomic Stability, Health and primary education, Higher education and training, Goods market efficiency, Labor market efficiency, Financial market sophistication, Technological readiness, Market size, Business sophistication, and innovation.)
– How are we doing?
Surprise … surprise; Saudi Arabia is ranked 28th out of 133 countries! Can you believe that? this is what the report is stating clear and simple. I do not know about you, but I started to suspect the report results after this fact! Not that Saudi Arabia is not going through number of modifications, but hey, ranked 28th!! ahead of China (29), Spain (33), Italy (48) and India (49). I am not trying to give any conclusive scientific opinion here, but I am afraid we are not doing that good in many of the competitiveness pillars they built their report upon.
According to the report, Saudi Arabia strongest advantage is its macroeconomic stability; we ranked 9 out of the 133 countries which is totally understandable given the strong Saudi budget. On the other hand, we do really bad at ‘health and primary education’ where we rank 71 and we do bad as well at ‘labor market efficiency’ where we rank 71 again. Giving that our recent budgets were concentrating on eduction and health care, this is a clear indication that we still have a lot of work to do.
As a conclusion, nobody can deny that there are movements in the Saudi business environment but my point is that I do not want such reports to give us a false sense of security and accomplishment, we still have a lot of work ahead of us to grant ourselves a competitive advantage at the global economical scene.