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Saudi Arabia’s Successful Global Ranking Debut


Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has made its debut in the prestigious IMD World Talent Ranking, coming in at number 26, surpassing countries such as France, Malaysia, and Japan. In its 2017 edition, 63 countries were ranked by IMD (International Institute for Management Development), with Cyprus and Saudi Arabia both making their first appearance.

According to IMD, a business school based in Switzerland and Singapore, its IMD World Talent Ranking “is based on countries’ performance in three main categories — investment and development, appeal and readiness. The three categories assess how countries perform in a wide range of areas. These include education, apprenticeships, workplace training, language skills, cost of living, quality of life, remuneration and tax rates.”

The report points to education in the Kingdom as key, stating that “investment in education is impressive – setting the ground work for future home-grown talent.” According to the CIC website, education is one of the main pillars of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, “the ambitious reform strategy championed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which aims to diversify the economy beyond dependence on oil. The Kingdom’s road map for the future envisages a ‘modern curriculum focused on rigorous standards in literacy, numeracy, skills and character development’.”

Christos Cabolis, chief economist and head of operations at Switzerland-based IMD, explained to Arab News that this “represents a good first result for Saudi Arabia. They have chosen to enter the rankings for the first time as they feel their economy is now in a good position. Clearly, Saudi Arabia would like to benchmark and they would like the capacity to compare.”

Now in its fourth year, IMD World Talent Ranking assesses the methods countries use to attract and retain the talent their businesses need to thrive. Switzerland, Denmark, and Belgium are the most competitive countries this year, with Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Sweden, and Luxembourg also part of the top-ten.

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