The Ease of Doing Business Index as a Tool for Saudi Arabian Economic Reform
David Kenner

The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index is one of the most widely used global metrics

for assessing a country’s regulatory performance. Saudi officials have frequently employed it to

judge Saudi Arabia’s progress on two key Vision 2030 priorities—attracting foreign investment,

and bolstering the private sector.


This paper assesses Saudi Arabia’s position on the index, analyzing shifts in its score over time

and the areas where the Kingdom performs best and worst. It puts the Kingdom’s fluctuating

position on the index over the past decade in context, linking it to the methodological changes in

the index over the same period, and it identifies themes that define Saudi Arabia’s performance

across different regulatory fields, which point to the type of reforms that would help the Kingdom

improve its position on the index.