Saudi Arabia, UAE lead Arab world in global competitiveness

Majid Al-Qassabi, who chairs the executive committee of Tayseer, said the move to unify efforts of government agencies. (SPA)
Updated 21 October 2018
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Saudi Arabia, UAE lead Arab world in global competitiveness

  • The UAE ranked 27th out of 140 countries, maintaining its position of last year, thanks to being first globally in macroeconomic stability conditions

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE topped the Arab world in the global competitiveness index announced by the World Economic Forum (WEF), which uses a new methodology to fully capture the economic dynamics of 140 countries globally.
The Kingdom, according to the report, has advanced to 39th position on the WEF Global Competitiveness Report for 2018, up two places from its ranking last year.
“The ranking, the Kingdom’s best since 2012, came despite the changes in the assessment methods this year,” said a statement, citing Majid Al-Qassabi, minister of commerce and investment, here on Sunday.
Al-Qassabi said: “The integrated work of more than 40 government agencies is one of the most important factors that led to an improvement of the Kingdom’s ranking in the 2018 report.”
Al-Qassabi, who also chairs the executive committee of Tayseer, said the move to unify efforts of government agencies “contributed in addressing the constraints and challenges, and supporting the private sector in the Kingdom.” Tayseer is an initiative that aims to secure and stimulate the investment environment for the private sector and provide the necessary guarantees for the preservation of rights.
The WEF report said Saudi Arabia achieved a full score of 100 percent in the macroeconomic stability index among other countries in the region. In terms of market size, the Kingdom ranked 17th with 76.3 points, thanks to its high gross domestic product. This year, the WEF increased the number of countries under coverage to 140, which affected the ranking of many countries including the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia also ranked third among Arab countries and 39th globally, supported by its conducive macroeconomic environment, a modern infrastructure, and a large market size. The UAE ranked 27th out of 140 countries, maintaining its position of last year, thanks to being first globally in macroeconomic stability conditions.
The report said that Oman ranked 47th globally, up 14 places from last year, and became fourth in competitiveness in the Arab world. The ranks of the other Arab countries globally are as follows: Bahrain (50), Kuwait (54), Jordan (73), Morocco (75), Lebanon (80), Tunisia (87), Egypt (94), and Yemen at the 139th spot.
The key finding of the report is that the changing nature of economic competitiveness in the world is becoming increasingly transformed by new, digital technologies and creating a new set of challenges for governments and businesses, which collectively run the risk of having a negative effect on future growth and productivity.
According to the report, the 10 most competitive economies are the US, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, the UK, Sweden and Denmark.
The report further explains that the competitiveness performance in the Middle East and North Africa remains diverse, with the UAE leading the way in the region. This year’s edition of the Global Competitiveness Report marks an important milestone, as the report series has now been published for 40 years.
The 2018 report ranked 140 economies according to 12 pillars that were weighted equally. These pillars included institutions, infrastructure, ICT adoption, macroeconomic stability, health, skills, product market, labor market, financial system, market size, business dynamism and innovation capability.


Saudi Arabia renovates Al-Jouf General Hospital in Yemen

Updated 4 min 5 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia renovates Al-Jouf General Hospital in Yemen

JEDDAH: The Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen on Wednesday inaugurated a project to renovate and equip Al-Jouf General Hospital.
The project has installed seven clinics, emergency and hypnotherapy sections, and provided medical equipment to serve 12 departments. The hospital can now receive 18,000 people per month.
Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber, Saudi ambassador to Yemen, said the Kingdom is actively supporting Yemen through development projects, providing more than $13 billion to that end.
Al-Jouf Gov. Amin Ali Al-Okimi praised Saudi Arabia’s support for the hospital, which he said is the only government institution serving the governorate’s people. The hospital treated more than 109,000 people last year, he added.
In the past two months, the Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen announced major medical projects in various governorates.
They include the opening of Siyoun Hospital in Hadramout, the renovation of Al-Ghaydah Hospital in Al-Mahrah, and the completion of the King Salman Educational and Medical City in Al-Mahrah.
King Salman has ordered the planning and establishment of centers to treat chronic diseases in all Yemeni governorates.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Saudi Arabia established hospitals in the Yemeni governorates of Hajjah and Saada, which have been receiving $10 million annually since their establishment.
In 2013, Saudi Arabia began constructing the King Abdullah Medical Center in Sanaa, which was suspended due to the coup by the Iran-backed Houthi militia in 2014.