Saudi Govt. Bodies to Deploy Int’l Foreign Expertise
Saudi Arabia intends to benefit from foreign expertise on the level of government bodies in an effort to develop government performance and upscale it to advanced levels.
The General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) announced in an official statement that the Board of Directors, under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan, appointed Dr. Konrad Pesendorfer as president of the General Authority for Statistics.
According to GASTAT, Dr. Konrad will be working alongside with GASTAT’s team of national caliber to improve and oversee the statistical work, and to achieve GASTAT’s transformation goals by turning it into a world-class Statistical Authority capable of fulfilling its roles and functions like its counterparts of the G20 countries; by adopting the best international practices used at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
This decision by GASTAT’s Board of Directors is to stress on efforts made towards achieving The National Strategy for Statistical Development that was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers in 2019.
This strategy seeks to develop and enhance the statistical work in Saudi Arabia, and ensure its sustainability in providing accurate statistical data at the right time that can be available to researchers, decision makers, and investors.
This will achieve the collaboration that is compatible with the data and information policies in Saudi Arabia that attains a high level of transparency and integration, and fulfills all efforts related to the statistical field.
Pesendorfer was appointed as GASTAT’s president after he worked as an acting president since last January. His appointment is comparable to other international appointments that have achieved remarkable success. He is one of the world’s prominent experts in managing statistical organizations.
Dr. Konrad was the director general of Statistics Austria from 2010 until 2019 and represented Austria in the European Statistical System Committee (ESSC), the top decision-making body of the European Statistical System, where the heads of European Statistical Institutes and Eurostat gather regularly.
He was also appointed as the Chairman of the Committee for Statistics and Statistical Policy of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2016.
Pesendorfer was also the co-chair of the Board of Directors of the International Comparison Program of the United Nations and the World Bank (with India), and Counselor to the Executive Board of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt before.
Dr. Konrad holds PhD in economics from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. In addition, he was lecturer on international economics at the H.E.C. Business School in Paris and at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) in Paris.
The appointment of Dr. Konrad for this position is consistent with other international experiences in enhancing the statistical work and attracting international experts, like the appointment of New Zealand’s former government statistician Leonard Warren Cook as director of the National Statistics Office in the United Kingdom and the appointment of Mark Carney as the governor of the British Central Bank in 2008.
This illustrates that experience exchange practices used worldwide are effective in closing the knowledge gap and bringing outstanding experiences.
With its G20 presidency, Saudi Arabia aims to achieve strategic goals in developing its economic and developmental system in order to strengthen its position among top economies in the world.
The GASTAT, within the National Strategy for Statistical Development framework will work to link between different government and private entities, to develop national human capital at all levels, and to improve the technical environment supporting statistical work.
GASTAT will also adopt the best global experiences that will contribute to achieving the maturity if statistical data sector; and will work jointly with national universities and relevant educational institutions to build a specialized statistical generation through training national caliber who will lead the statistical work in the Kingdom in future.