In its efforts to develop and improve effective foundation for business investments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and Alfaisal University setup a partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The partnership aims to assesses the competitiveness landscape of the economy and provide insight into the drivers of enhanced productivity and prosperity. Aligned with the formal WEF’s methodology, Dr. Mohammed Kafaji and Dr. Bajis Dodin proposed a systematic approach to gather and analyze required survey data using the WEF surveying tools. Based on this approach, the data is gathered on various business management environments related to the business investment and operations. From the business competitiveness perspectives, the key areas covered include: the kingdom’s infrastructure, adopted technologies, foreign investment, financial support, practices in managing competition, innovation, education, human resources, health, security, and risks. Dr. Kafaji used WEF methodology to lead the project for conducting the executive opinion survey of appropriately selected business executives in different sectors of the Saudi market based on their contribution to the national GDP (Gross Domestic Product). This data is then analyzed to evaluate the degree at which the business environment is suitable for investment. The project required extensive collaboration with the local companies from different industries and sectors, perform multiple site visits across the kingdom, ensure alignment with WEF methodology, manage related logistics, and communicate with WEF via their on-line system. After three months of rigorous data gathering work, the project was successfully completed on mid-May 2015.

The findings of this project was evaluated by WEF, benchmarked with the rest of the world, and published in the ‘Global Competitiveness Report’ for 2015-2016. The report is freely available through: http://reports.weforum.org/global-competitiveness-report-2015-2016/