During one of his commute trips to the Kingdom, one of my future chairmen asked the reason for his regular visits to Riyadh, and he replied that Saudi Arabia would become the most influential country in the world in the knowledge economy in the next decade, and therefore, his company must be permanently present in the Kingdom.
This confirms what has been said in the reports of the prestigious international organizations, which praised the success of the Kingdom despite the downturn in the world economy during the period of inflation that most countries in the world have experienced since the spread of the Corona pandemic and the escalation of the bloody war in Ukraine. In the framework of the 2022 Article IV consultations, which took place from 23 May to 6 June, the International Monetary Fund announced that: “Saudi Arabia has managed to deal with the pandemic in a favorable position to the risks arising from the war in Ukraine and the tightening of monetary policy in the economies. ” advanced.
The Fund explained that although economic activity in the Kingdom experienced a strong recovery, supported by the rise in oil prices, the reforms launched under the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 had the greatest impact on a strong growth rate of 3 , 2% in 2021, driven by the Saudi economy, mainly through the recovery of the non-oil manufacturing and retail sectors, including e-commerce and the commercial sector. The fund added: “The increase in the participation of citizens in the labor force, and the compensation it has obtained for the departure of expatriates, has led to a decrease in the unemployment rate among citizens to reach 11%, due to the high rates of women’s employment in the private sector. “
The Fund announced that: “Saudi total GDP is expected to grow by 7.6 percent in 2022, and non-oil growth to rise to 4.2 percent, with the current account surplus rising to 17.4 percent of GDP will rise, which is a level that has not been recorded since 2013. .
In the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2022 report released two weeks ago, the National Competitiveness Center of the International Institute for Management Development revealed that the Kingdom achieved the second best performance, advancing 8 ranks from last year, and the 24th place among the 63 most competitive countries in the world. According to the report, the Kingdom recorded the second best progress among the countries measured, while the indicators of the report showed that the Kingdom ranked 7th among the G20 countries and outperformed South Korea, France, Japan , Italy, India, Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil and Turkey.
These reports confirm the Kingdom’s success in the knowledge – based economy, especially after it achieved the first position worldwide in digital transformation in companies, second in cybersecurity and the size of the stock market in terms of GDP, third in government spending on education, and fifth. in general financial efficiency. The Kingdom also advanced this year to 4th place in financial freedom and 7th worldwide as the best tax system. Therefore, the Kingdom has become an attractive investment environment for capital, due to its rapid adaptation to global changes, and the fact that it enjoys the largest free market in the Middle East and North Africa, accounting for 25% of total Arab GDP.
There is no doubt that the UK’s success came this year due to the completion of more than 555 reforms in investor services, in particular the time to start commercial activity to 30 minutes after it was up to 15 days, which is the period for withdraw the commercial registration to only 180 seconds, and reduce the total requirements Investment licenses by 54%, property ownership transfer within 60 minutes, and a 73% reduction in the number of restricted chemicals to facilitate import procedures. This is in addition to the introduction of private sector feedback platforms and public consultations, which have contributed to the improvement and modification of procedures, and also led to an increase in the number of small and medium-sized enterprises in the same year, which more than Reached 626 000.
As a result of the efforts of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, these platforms have had the longest history in consolidating the basics of the knowledge economy, as the ministry established the “ThinkTech” digital knowledge platform to provide the secure umbrella for awareness projects and new technical developments to aim to raise digital awareness, and to help serve more than 3 million digital content beneficiaries, and 100,000 event beneficiaries. This platform also launched the “Convoys of the Future” and “Virtual Lab” initiatives to raise awareness of the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with 31,800 beneficiaries. The World Robot Olympiad was also organized for the first time in the Kingdom, where more than 800 Saudi teams and more than 2,000 students were trained in the techniques of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which led to the launch of the “Educational Journeys” – platform to explore new technological developments to achieve sustainable development.
The Kingdom also launched the Technology Pioneers program, which helped 4 camps, 3 business accelerators, 3000 incubators, 350 participants in training camps, 60 business accelerator beneficiaries, 50 new digital business models and 20 incubated entrepreneurs in its first edition to develop. The program has helped support the continuation of entrepreneurs and stimulate the entry of new businesses into the market.
In the G20 countries, the Kingdom was second in the allocation of frequency bands, as the Kingdom started implementing the digital transformation plan by developing the national plan for the frequency spectrum. The Kingdom also ranked fourth worldwide in the distribution of fifth generation technology, increasing the speed of the internet by more than 400%, leading to the improvement of the quality and speed of mobile internet services in the Kingdom, and increasing the quality of communication services provided to the citizen.
During the current year, the Kingdom maintained its world position as the seventh fastest country in terms of mobile internet speeds, and the fourth in fifth generation internet speeds, averaging 264.7 Mbps. Thus, the Kingdom overtook South Korea, the leading country in the pace of 5G network coverage, and the Kingdom took first place in download speeds for 5G services, at a speed of 377.2 Mbit / s, followed by South Korea at 336.1 Mbit / s. .
There is no doubt that the Kingdom’s success in establishing the rules of the knowledge economy will qualify it to be among the top ranks in the first world countries in the near future.
* Quoted from “Mad” newspaper.
All published articles represent only the opinion of its authors.