Saudi Arabia has jumped up the global league tables for the quality of its business executives, as measured by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), the prestigious Swiss business school, in its 2019 World Talent Ranking.
The Kingdom rose five places in the annual survey, leapfrogging the UAE in 30th place for the first time and closing the gap on Qatar in 26th position.
The IMD’s improved rating for Saudi Arabia comes after the Kingdom jumped up the World Bank’s “doing business” ratings and an improved performance in the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness rankings.
IMD said that Saudi Arabia showed improvements in the investment and development categories it judges, as well as readiness for economic and managerial change.
Switzerland was first placed in the IMD rankings, followed by Denmark and Sweden.
It also scored high on the availability of apprenticeships, the prioritization of employee training, access to specialist skills and the availability of senior managers with international experience and finance skills.
In terms of its appeal to executive talent, however, Saudi Arabia was further down the placings.
Jose Caballero, senior economist at the IMD competitiveness center, told Arab News that Saudi Arabia could improve its appeal by “encouraging its private sector to prioritize talent attraction and retention, as well as focusing on increasing the levels of worker motivation, and the quality of life it offers.”
He added: “The talent potential of Saudi Arabia is captured in one of the Vision 2030’s key themes: A vibrant society, with strong foundations, especially in relation to education.”
But despite spending a big proportion of its GDP on education, expenditure per student is relatively low, as is the quality of secondary schools and teacher-pupil ratios. The Kingdom ranks comparatively low down the ratings for adult literacy, Caballero added.
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