Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, (AETOSWire): Saudi Arabia has been ranked as the world’s top ease of doing business improver by the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2020 report. The report indicates Saudi Arabia to have jumped 72 global positions in “Trading Across Borders”, an indicator which compares the time and cost of exporting and importing goods.
These improvements follow a raft of legislative reforms implemented by Saudi Logistics Hub —a government initiative established to drive growth in Saudi Arabia’s logistics sector. Reforms include the reduction of Customs clearance from seven to ten days to 24 hours, the reduction of the manual inspection rate at Customs from 89 percent to 48 percent, and the reduction of the number of documents required to import from 12 to 2 and to export from 8 to 2. These critical reforms facilitate Saudi Arabia’s drive to be positioned as one of the world’s most dynamic logistics hubs.
His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Minister of Transport and Chairman of the Saudi Logistics Hub, said: “The recognition of Saudi Arabia’s progress by the World Bank confirms our sustained efforts to drive efficiency and competitiveness in the country’s logistics sector. The Saudi Logistics Hub is now inviting foreign investors and business partners to join our ambitious journey to consolidate Saudi Arabia’s status as a leading logistics hub.”
Earlier this year, the Saudi Logistics Hub announced a US$35 billion capital expenditure plan to transform Saudi Arabia into a global logistics center. Starting from November 2019, the Saudi Logistics Hub has set out on a two-month global roadshow, with a final stop in Germany in January 2020, to further promote investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia’s logistics industry. The global agenda included the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, China, Japan, Singapore, India, and Germany through which the government entity was able to successfully create a strong awareness about Saudi Arabia’s logistics sector
Over the last 10 years, the country has invested more than US$100 billion into transport and logistics infrastructure, creating a comprehensive nationwide network. These impressive reforms are encouraging foreign investors to take part. The global roadshows witnessed successful meetings with Pantos Logistics, Samsung SDS in Korea, and PSA International Limited Pte Ltd in Singapore, as examples, which demonstrated Saudi Logistics Hub’s keenness to drive foreign partnerships across the Kingdom.
With 12 percent of global maritime trade passing through the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia aims to leverage its strategic location at the crossroads of three continents to increase export and re-export capacity, driving private sector participation in the industry. Transformation across the sector has already resulted in a 47 percent increase in the number of new foreign transport and logistics companies establishing operations in Saudi Arabia in 2019.
Today, Saudi Arabia has one of the fastest-growing logistics sectors globally, valued at US$19 billion and ranked third most attractive within emerging markets. As the world’s 18th largest economy and next host of the G20 in 2020, the country aims to increase the sector’s competitiveness, while also building international synergies to enhance domestic and cross-border trade infrastructure.