The World Bank Group’s annual report of 190 economies including the 6 GCC countries has recently been published.
The criteria for Ease of Doing Business for each country are illustrated below.
Bondoni, as a business setup specialist, focuses on the first category of Opening a new business”. It assesses “the ease of starting a new business” which concentrates on employing workers and dealing with obtaining construction permits.
The World’s TOP 10
The top 10 countries in the world for 2020 are:
New Zealand, Singapore, Honk Kong, Denmark, Korea, USA, Georgia, UK, Norway, Sweden.
Bondoni’s Looking Glass – Observation Summary
The two tables below illustrate the GCC rankings globally and within the GCC itself. Some observations include:
- Most of the GCC countries use the report as an authoritative benchmark to improve their appeal to attract international companies to invest in their countries.
- UAE retains in the top spot in the GCC with Oman closing in.
- Saudi Arabia has made the biggest improvements in all categories and the report acknowledged it as one of the most overall improved countries in the world.
- Oman led the way in business start-ups in 2018 due to introducing the MOCI “One Stop Shop” and made the imports and exports system easier.
- It dropped in 2019 due to increasing the corporate tax from 12 to 15%.
- In 2020 it leaps 10 places in the overall ranking and 5 places in “the ease of starting a new business” due to a number of positive factors. It has recently introduced key new pieces of legislation in Public Private Partnership (PPP), Foreign Capital Investment and Bankruptcy laws and has improved the land administration system and the ease of obtaining electricity for new businesses setting up for the first time.
Bondoni’s experience suggests that Oman has streamlined the process and “speed-to-market” and is closing the gap with the UAE.
Omanisation is a policy enacted by the government in 1988 aims to replace expatriate workers with trained Omani citizens.
This is not going away!
The one area which is increasingly more challenging to newly established businesses and many that are already operational is the government’s Omanisation strategy.
Each sector has its own target but the minimum target for mainland LLCs starts at 30% and increases to as high as 80% in some sectors including oil and gas and financial institutions.
The free zones offer lower Omanisation targets as an incentive for new companies to establish themselves provided they conform to the Free zone parameters.