Entrepreneurship has a high level of support in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom has been a pioneer in the Arab region in terms of regulatory reforms related to entrepreneurship. According to the latest Doing Business (DB) report, the country is ranked 13th globally and maintains its position as the number one in the region in terms of ease of doing business.
Saudi Arabia’s continuous improvement in six DB indicators has propelled it to its last rank of 35th since 2004, using French law as a model in reviewing its policies. In the latest World Economic Forum (Davos) Global Competitiveness Index (GCI 2010-2011), it rose seven places from 28th to 21st leading to a strong and solid institutional framework, efficient markets, and well-developed business places.
The real activity (real GDP) in Saudi Arabia was expected to grow by 3.4 percent in 2010 and 4.5 percent in 2011. A new foreign investment law was enacted, and the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority was established ( SAGIA).
In 2006, Saudi Arabia made it easier to start a business by streamlining the processes at the Ministry of Commerce and reducing the registration time from 64 days to 39 days. The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has agreements with 17 government agencies to remove barriers and provide incentives for companies.
The KIA also launched its “10/10” project targeting the top ten by 2010. The reform continued in 2007, and the start time was reduced from 39 days to 15 days by eliminating layers of bureaucracy.
The commercial registration fee with the Ministry of Commerce has been reduced by 80%, reducing the time required to start a business by two days. The requirement to publish a summary of the statute in the local newspaper has been abolished. Instead, it should only be published in the Official Gazette, at a cost of only 1500-3000 riyals.
Saudi Arabia continued to simplify regulatory procedures. In 2009, a one-stop-shop system was established at the Ministry of Commerce for business registration and permits.
The state has improved procedures at ports
By abolishing the requirement for a consular certificate and allowing the electronic submission of information required for customs clearance. This reduced the trading time by two days. At Jeddah port, more containers are cleared in a day. In 2009, Saudi Arabia reduced fees by 50%. In 2010, Saudi Arabia launched a new container terminal at Jeddah Islamic Port to reduce import time to 17 days.
Saudi Arabia ranked well globally in Ease of Getting Credit in Doing Business 2011, increasing its ranking from 69th to 46th. In 2004, Saudi Arabia’s public registry lowered the minimum loan size for Data collected significantly from 5 million riyals to 500 thousand riyals, nearly twice the number of registered borrowers.