The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest of all the Gulf States. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its modern form dates back to 1932, when the states of Nejd and Hejaz united under the first king of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud. Oil is at the centre of Saudi Arabia’s wealth and accounts for around three quarters of the entire economy.
Saudi Arabia’s identity is intertwined with a devout and complete adherence to Islam. The Islamic religion has shaped Saudi culture and customs; in fact the Saudis are the custodians of Islam’s holiest cities, Mecca and Medina.
Organisations doing business in Saudi Arabia and individuals looking to invest in Saudi Arabia will be able to take advantage of a number of key benefits of doing business in Saudi Arabia. Maximising some of the key benefits outlined below requires a sound understanding of Saudi business and social culture, values and attitudes and communication styles which you can gain from a Doing Business in Saudi Arabia cross cultural training program.
Ease of Doing Business
According to the World Bank, Saudi Arabia was rated 13th out of 183 countries in terms of general ease of doing business in 2009. This is an encouraging sign for those organisations doing business in Saudi Arabia, the largest of the Gulf States.
A Shift Away from Nationalisation to Privatisation
In recent years, Saudi Arabia has experienced a shift in its national business model. There has been an increase in privatisation and the corporatisation of companies. This has created a positive environment for the import of consultancy services from abroad. The shift from a nationalised to privatised business model means that Saudi Arabia is rapidly becoming a profitable place for doing business and setting up operations.
A Reinvigorated Political System
In 1995, a consultative body was formed for the kingdom, known as the Council of Ministers. Moving towards a cabinet-style government, the Council is made up of ministers who are allocated specific responsibilities. Under the confines of the Sixth Development Plan, economic development has been split into key macroeconomic goals. This may, in time, lead to further liberalisation of the economy.
Saudi Arabian business culture is complex and influenced by age-old customs and traditions which have forged a nation out of the desert. Participating in a cultural awareness training program such as Communicaid’s Doing Business in Saudi Arabia will help your employees to understand local customs and business habits and give your organisation an advantage when doing business in Saudi Arabia.