Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia has jumped five spots on the Global Digital Competitiveness Report 2020 issued by the International Institute for Administrative Development (IMD), ranking 34th in the world, local media reported.

Saudi performance over the past 12 months has witnessed progress in a number of indicators shaping this report, including information technology integration, business resilience, regulatory framework, availability of capital for the digital sector, technology framework, adaptive attitudes, education and training, according to the IMD report.

Saudi Arabia also witnessed a qualitative leap and unprecedented progress in the Technology Index, jumping 14 spots, and the Future Readiness Index, jumping 10 spots. This reflects the Kingdom’s government placing the issue of digital technology at the centre of its priorities, and its work to harmonise Saudi laws and practices with the digital space and transform the Kingdom into a pioneer in the field of digital technology implementation.

The Kingdom was ranked among the top 10 among the G20 countries, ahead of Italy, Russia, Turkey, and Brazil.

The index also revealed what strengthens the Kingdom’s position at the global level in achieving digital leadership, and supports its progressive position, which is its solutions within the global top 10 ranking in five of the report’s indicators, namely:

Cybersecurity: second globally.

Public-private partnerships: fourth in the world.

Total government spending on education: fourth in the world.

Financing technology development: seventh globally.

Technology Development and Application: ninth globally.

Commenting on the Saudi performance, Christos Kapoulis, Chief Economist and Chief Operating Officer at the Global Competitiveness Centre of the International Institute for Administrative Development (IMD) said: “The Kingdom is advancing five ranks in the Global Digital Competitiveness Index 2020, due to progress in both technology and future readiness indicators, education and training, the technological framework, the availability of capital for the digital sector, and the greater reliance on technology within government institutions, and among members of society in general.”

He added, “As an example, the percentage of individuals (of working age) who have a university degree has witnessed a remarkable increase, and procedures for starting a new business have become smoother, which reduces the time required to complete the process.”