Global Competitiveness Forum Set for Jan 24-26 in Riyadh

Published: January 17, 2016

Editor’s Note:

The Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF), set for January 24-26 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia will be a gathering of over 2,500 global business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals and journalists to network and discuss the positive impact organizational and national competitiveness can have on local, regional, global economic and social development.

The GCF, in its ninth year in 2016, is held under the patronage of King Salman and the organization of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) as a leading annual international forum and private exhibition. The forum, featuring over 80 international speakers, will examine “Competitive Sectors,” focusing on the essential elements driving their competitiveness, the strategies that governments should follow to accelerate competitiveness and the role these sectors play in maintaining sustainable economic growth according to a GCF announcement.

Today we are pleased to share information about the 2016 Global Competitiveness Forum including background and context to understand its focus and history in shaping economic policy and business competitiveness.


The 9th Annual GCF (2016) Competitive Sectors

January 24-26, 2016
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF) will focus on “Competitive Sectors” as a theme in January 2016.

The GCF 2016 will shed the light on the ingredients that are essential in driving the competitiveness of sectors, the strategies that governments should follow to accelerate competitiveness, and, most importantly, the role of competitive sectors in maintaining a sustainable economic growth.

Furthermore, in its 9th edition, the GCF will draw focus on the priority sectors that have been identified to have a direct impact on economic and human development; sectors such as Healthcare and Life Sciences, Transport, Education, ICT, and the Services sector (i.e. Tourism, Financial Services, Real Estate, Professional Consulting) will be discussed throughout the program of the GCF 2016.

Global and local perspectives on issues such as the importance of innovation and ensuring high levels of productivity towards achieving competitiveness in sectors will take a significant part in panel discussions. In addition, discussion will highlight the achievements of economic diversification and the creation of jobs for a growing youthful population.

Vision: An annual program of activities attended by global business leaders, international political leaders, and selected intellectuals who share a common interest in competitiveness.

Mission: To continue fostering awareness and enthusiasm around the issue of competitiveness, and to evaluate the applicability of competitiveness theory and practice as a tool for generating real solutions to contemporary global challenges.


Global Competitiveness Forum 2015 Day 1


Pillars of Competitiveness

Nowadays and more than ever, the promotion of competitiveness is an indispensable prerequisite for any country that is looking for a bright future and willing to stimulate and maintain an environment that creates value for its projects and achieve more prosperity for its people.

Competitiveness is linked to improving the standard of living of citizens and achieving prosperity and stability, while providing job opportunities is linked to achieving sustainable economic development at high rates. Competitiveness helps to achieve this goal through improving the performance of various government and private sectors and diversifying the economy’s productive base leading to the creation of new job opportunities, increasing the rates of establishing new businesses and consequently increasing the GDP. It is natural that improving the investment environment is the shortest way towards increasing investment rates, which is the main drive for economic growth.


In the context of the comprehensive economic reforms program as directed by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz improving the investment environment and solving the difficulties faced by Saudi and foreign investors has been a high priority task that is given considerable attention in this program. SAGIA initiated its tasks to achieve this goal through harmonizing investment regimes with the real requirements of investors and creating an attractive investment environment for domestic and foreign investment in coordination with various Ministries and Government Agencies.

In an effort to improve the investment environment, SAGIA reviewed and analyzed many reports and studies, and found that the countries with higher standards of living and higher productivity levels were the most competitive countries. Thus, SAGIA worked on raising the competitiveness of the Kingdom believing that this would allow for finding radical solutions including expanding and diversifying the economic base and would contribute to stimulating the growth of business sector and improve private sector employment rates, as well as improving productivity levels in non-oil sectors.



Academics, Bankers Assert Importance of improving Competitiveness For Achieving Economic Diversification in Kingdom

Riyadh, Rabi’II 7, 1437, Jan 17, 2016, SPA — Saudi academics, economists and bankers have stressed that the improvement of the competitiveness of the State’s sectors is a prerequisite for economic diversification, which is still a major renewed goal for the Saudi government to counter the risks of dependence on oil resources.

They pointed out that the Global Competitiveness Forum to be hosted by Riyadh on January 24-26, 2016 has allocated its 9th session this year to discuss the (Sectors Competitiveness); due to its direct impact on the overall economy of the States, expecting that the Forum would focus on the most influential sectors in upgrading competitiveness in general, notably the economic and human development such as health care, transportation, education, information technology and telecommunications, and service sectors.

The economist and banker, Fadl bin Saad Al-Buainain pointed to the importance of competitiveness as it has become a means of guaranteeing the survival of sectors and companies in the markets, and without it the production sector can’t continue to achieve profitability, expansion and ensure access to additional shares in the global markets, pointing out that it is the real engine for growth of domestic and global economies, which is best able to attract huge foreign investment.

He also stressed that the Saudi investment environment supported by political, security and economic stability achieving the global competitiveness requirements, has contributed to the increase of the volume of foreign investment flows, pointing out that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s competitiveness will help a lot in attracting foreign capital and stimulating the local capital.

For her part, the Professor of Business Administration at King Saud University and the World Institute of Commerce in Paris, Dr. Mounira bint Arab believed that the diversification of the economy requires a change in the methodology of economic activity and its mechanism to promote the production’s efficiency, achieve multiple resources for the State’s general budget, raise private sector’s efficiency and enhance competitiveness.

In the same context, the Professor of Economics at King Saud University and Vice President of the Saudi Economic Association Dr. Nora Al-Yousef said that the Kingdom entered a phase of economic diversification for nearly two decades, benefiting of $150 billion industrial investment base and more than 200 billion riyals non-oil exports, pointing out that the Kingdom’s non-oil GDP has become a more than half of the total GDP in nominal terms and that the share of private sector in the non-oil activity exceeded one-third of non-oil GDP.

It is worth mentioning that the Global Competitiveness Forum will be held this year under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the presence of a number of international and local dignitaries.




The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has been established under the Council of Ministers Resolution No. 2 dated 1421/1/5 H corresponding to 2000/10/2 G. SAGIA is a governmental body reports to the President of the Supreme Economic Council, with its headquarter in the city of Riyadh.

The main objective of the authority is to oversee investment affairs in the kingdom, including foreign investment. This includes, without limitation to the jurisdiction, the following functions

1. Preparing state policies designed to promote and enhance local and foreign investment, and submitting them to council.

2. Proposing implementation plans and criteria to improve the investment climate in the kingdom and submitting them to the council

3. Monitoring and evaluating the performance of local and foreign investment, and drafting a periodical report in this regard whose contents to be specified in the rules

4. Conducting studies on investment opportunities in the kingdom and promoting these opportunities

5. Coordinating and cooperating with the pertinent governmental bodies to enable the Authority to accomplish its mission

6. Organizing and participating in conferences, symposia, local and international exhibitions and workshops relevant to investment.

7. Developing database and carrying out statistical surveys required for the conduct of its functions.

8. Any task officially assigned to the authority.


Leadership in enabling investments for a sustainable economy


Mission is to attract quality investments by fostering a pro- business environment recognized for efficiency, quality services, seamless delivery by sought after professionals


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