With entrepreneurship and innovation expanding rapidly in the Kingdom in the past decade, Saudi Arabia has set a goal for itself: to be among the top ten most competitive nations in the world by the end of 2010. That goal is not far from being achieved: In 2005, Saudi Arabia was ranked 67th in the Doing Business report published by the World Bank; by 2009, it had climbed the ranks to the 13th spot.
The U.S.-Arab Tradeline, a publication of the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce, describes in its Spring 2010 issue the numerous ways in which the Saudi government and private sector are supporting business and educational programs aimed at creating a more dynamic economy. From the founding of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to the creation of the National Entrepreneurship Center, the Saudi government has been taking major steps to promote education and business creation.
Another example of this support is the “Saudi Fast Growth 100,” a new national program designed to promote entrepreneurship and innovation. Professor Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School notes, “Entrepreneurship is alive and well in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Fast Growth 100 companies, led by dynamic men and women, represent the leading edge of a new approach to Saudi Arabia’s competitiveness. These entrepreneurs are shattering our perception of what’s really going on in Saudi Arabia.”
U.S.-Arab Tradeline Spring 2010 issue