Reforms Facilitating Business Boost Investment in Saudi Arabia

 Cars drive past the King Abdullah Financial District, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/File Photo
Cars drive past the King Abdullah Financial District, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/File Photo
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Reforms Facilitating Business Boost Investment in Saudi Arabia

 Cars drive past the King Abdullah Financial District, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/File Photo
Cars drive past the King Abdullah Financial District, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/File Photo

The investment climate in Saudi Arabia enjoys an advanced position among world economies. This climate resulted from the record-breaking number of reforms carried out by the kingdom, as part of its pursuit to enhance business climate for small and medium projects.

The report issued by the World Bank Doing Business 2018 confirmed this fact.

The report, released on Thursday, showed that the kingdom conducted six reforms - the highest number of reforms in the MENA in 2017.

The kingdom implemented 30 reforms since 2003, majorly focusing on starting business (seven reforms), real-estate registration (five reforms) and getting credit (four reforms), showed the report. It added that now it takes 18 days to start a business in Riyadh compared to 81.5 days, 15 years ago.

The report revealed that procedures to start business were facilitated through installing an e-system. As for real-estate registration, efficiency in administering lands has been enhanced through developing an e-portal.

Further, protection of minority investment was consolidated through increasing shareholders rights and their role in major decisions, setting conditions to increase transparency and organize disclosure. Also, time required for importing and exporting has been shortened through reducing required documents for the customs.

Rita Ramalho, Acting Director of the World Bank's Global Indicators Group, declared that the completed reforms during the last year are quite comprehensive and they cover six out of 10 fields linked to the business performance used to determine the countries' position.

The kingdom’s performance is considered good in regards to protecting minority’s investors (10th rank worldwide), and it occupies rank 24 as to property registration and rank 38 in granting licenses.

Nader Mohamed, Country Director of the GCC Countries in the MENA region of the World Bank, stated that the huge progress achieved by the kingdom in one year is a proof of the government commitment to reform investment climate.

Mohamed pointed out that the coordinated efforts among governmental parties send a strong indicator for investors interested in the kingdom – he noted that the World Bank is delighted with the foundation in which reforms were based, ensuring that the ambitious vision of the kingdom requires succession and continuity of economic reforms.

He described ongoing reforms that aim at reducing dependency on oil as significant, the thing that demands transferring five percent of Aramco and supporting the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia to become the biggest sovereign fund in the world.



Oil Slips on US Growth Worries, Ample Crude Supply

FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021.  REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021. REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo
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Oil Slips on US Growth Worries, Ample Crude Supply

FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021.  REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Petrochemical storage tanks are seen at the Suncor Energy chemical plant near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 7, 2021. REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo

Oil prices fell in early trade on Thursday, as investors digested that the US Federal Reserve had likely pushed back a possible interest rate cut to December, while ample US crude and fuel stocks also weighed on the market.
Brent crude futures lost 23 cents, or 0.3%, to $82.37 a barrel, as of 0415 GMT, and US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 20 cents, or 0.3%, to $78.30, Reuters reported.
Both benchmarks had gained about 0.8% in the previous session.
The Fed held rates steady on Wednesday and pushed out the start of policy easing to perhaps as late as December.
Higher borrowing costs tend to dampen economic growth, and can by extension, limit oil demand.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a press conference after the US central bank's two-day policy meeting ended that inflation had fallen without a major blow to the economy, adding that there was no reason to think that can't go on.
On the supply side, US crude stockpiles rose more than expected last week, driven largely by a jump in imports, while fuel inventories also increased more than anticipated, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.
Also weighing on prices was a bearish report by the International Energy Agency, which warned of excess supply in the near future.
"This is in stark contrast to the bullish report from OPEC+ earlier this week. The oil group maintained its forecasts for strengthening demand," analysts at ANZ Research said.
Traders are also watching ongoing talks for a ceasefire in Gaza, which, if resolved, would reduce fears of potential supply disruptions from the oil producing region.