Saudi Arabia Ranks 16th in IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2024

Saudi Arabia ranked 16th out of 67 of the world's most competitive countries. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia ranked 16th out of 67 of the world's most competitive countries. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia Ranks 16th in IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2024

Saudi Arabia ranked 16th out of 67 of the world's most competitive countries. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia ranked 16th out of 67 of the world's most competitive countries. (SPA)

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ranked 16th out of 67 of the world's most competitive countries, according to this year's Swiss-based Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Yearbook.
This annual report offers benchmark services for countries and companies, providing insights into what makes companies competitive; it is prepared by the National Competitiveness Center in collaboration with concerned government agencies, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.
This year's ranking reflects a one-position improvement for the Kingdom, driven by advancements in business legislation and infrastructure. This places Saudi Arabia in 4th place among G20 countries.
The business efficiency axis specifically saw progress, moving from the 13th to the 12th rank. While infrastructure remains in its 34th position, the Kingdom continues to be strong in both economic performance and government efficiency, staying within the top 20.
Minister of Commerce and Chairman of the National Competitiveness Center Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi attributed the positive results to the economic transformation process championed by the Kingdom's government under the directives of Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia.
The economic reforms carried out have propelled the Kingdom to the top three positions in 24 key indicators. Notably, it secured the global top spot in crucial areas like long-term employment growth, social cohesion, long-term labor market growth, awareness about the need for economic and social reforms, cybersecurity, and internet user penetration per thousand residents.
Saudi Arabia secured second place globally in indicators such as digital transformation in companies, stock market capitalization, venture capital availability, technological development and application, and access to financing for technical advancements.
The Kingdom ranks third place globally in several areas, including trade, economic resilience, government adaptability to economic changes, unemployment legislation, and overall early stage entrepreneurial activity.



UK Borrowing Overshoot Underscores Task for New Government

Larry the Cat sits on Downing Street in London, Britain July 19, 2024. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Larry the Cat sits on Downing Street in London, Britain July 19, 2024. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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UK Borrowing Overshoot Underscores Task for New Government

Larry the Cat sits on Downing Street in London, Britain July 19, 2024. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Larry the Cat sits on Downing Street in London, Britain July 19, 2024. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Britain's government borrowed a lot more than forecast in June, according to official data published on Friday that highlighted the big budget challenges facing the new government of Prime Minister Keir Starmer.
Public sector net borrowing, excluding state-controlled banks, was a larger-than-expected 14.5 billion pounds ($18.75 billion) last month. A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to an increase of 11.5 billion pounds.
Dennis Tatarkov, Senior Economist at KPMG UK, said the data showed "the daunting task" for the new government to fund its agenda without worsening the public finances.
"A combination of high levels of spending and weak growth prospects will present uncomfortable choices – deciding between even more borrowing or substantially raising taxes if spending levels are to be maintained," he said.
New finance minister Rachel Reeves is likely to announce her first budget after parliament's summer recess. She and Starmer have ruled out increases in the rates of income tax, corporation tax and value-added tax, leaving her little room for maneuver to improve public services and boost investment.
Reeves has ordered an immediate review of the new government's "spending inheritance", a move that lawmakers from the opposition Conservative Party say could presage increases in taxes on capital gains or inheritances.
"Today's figures are a clear reminder that this government has inherited the worst economic circumstances since the Second World War, but we’re wasting no time to fix it," Darren Jones, a deputy Treasury minister, said after the data was published.
Starmer's government says it will speed up Britain's slow-moving economy - and generate more tax revenues - via a combination of pro-growth reforms and a return to political stability that will attract investment.
The borrowing figure for June was 2.9 billion pounds higher than expected by Britain's budget watchdog whose forecasts underpin government tax and spending plans.
In the first three months of the financial year which began in April, borrowing was 3.2 billion pounds higher than projected by the Office for Budget Responsibility at 49.8 billion pounds.
The Office for National Statistics said June's borrowing was the lowest for the month since 2019, helped by a big drop in spending on interest paid on bonds linked to inflation which has slowed sharply.
But the deficit was made bigger by a 1.2 billion-pound fall in social security contributions compared with June 2023. They were cut by former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak before the July 4 election that swept Starmer's Labour Party to power.