A new World Bank report has praised Saudi Arabia for implementing business reforms such as electronic filing and payment systems that are widely used by firms.
Saudi Arabia also ranks second in the latest ease of doing business rankings published by the World Bank.The UAE topped the Middle East region in the rankings.
The World Bank said its scorecard on the ease of doing business around the world had spurred thousands of regulatory reforms in the past decade, pushing back against critics who argue the national rankings stigmatize rather than inspire.
The UAE was placed 23 on the world ranking, while Saudi Arabia took the 26th spot.
Bahrain was placed 46, Oman 47, Qatar 48, Tunisia 51, Kuwait 104, Lebanon 111, Jordan 119 and Egypt 128.
The report judged 189 countries on 10 criteria, such as ease of opening a business or paying taxes, and assigns each country a rank. Since their inception in 2003, the rankings have come to carry a huge weight with governments eager to attract private enterprise.“Despite the challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa, several economies in the region continue to take steps to improve their business climate, ” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group.
“In the past year the UAE strengthened investor protections, improved electricity access, and simplified property transfers. Djibouti adopted a new Commercial Code that has helped expand access to credit for firms and has made starting a business and resolving insolvency easier.”