Transition to knowledge-based economy in Saudi Arabia

S. Nour

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This paper discusses the progress in transition to knowledge-based
economy in Saudi Arabia. As for the methodology, this paper uses updated
secondary data obtained from different sources. It uses both descriptive
and comparative approaches and uses the OECD definition of
knowledge-based economy and the World Bank Knowledge Index (KI) and
Knowledge Economy Index (KEI) and other indicators often used in the
international literature to examine progress in transition to a
knowledge-based economy in Saudi Arabia. This paper is valuable because
it adds to the existing studies in the regional and international
literature and it fills the gap in Saudi Arabia literature by presenting
a more comprehensive analysis and investigating recent progress in
transition to knowledge-based economy in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the
results confirm the importance of supporting the efforts aimed at
enhancing knowledge- based economy in Saudi Arabia. Our findings imply
that over the period (2000-2012) Saudi Arabia has achieved significant
improvement, rapid and fastest progress not only by regional standard
but also by international standard, in the international rank Saudi
Arabia has climbed 26 places compared to 2000, obtaining 50th place in
2012 ranking, compared to 76th place in 2000 ranking. Our findings
support the hypothesis concerning some progress in transition towards
knowledge-based economy in Saudi Arabia. The progress appears from
improvement in terms of KI, KEI, ICT pillar, education pillar, economic
incentive and institutional regime pillar, innovation efficiency index,
knowledge creation index, knowledge impact index, knowledge diffusion
index and technological infrastructure, despite deterioration in both
innovation pillar and knowledge absorption index. Based on the findings
the paper recommends that to improve transition to knowledge economy and
achieve sustainable economic development, it is essential for Saudi
Arabia to strengthen and improve knowledge by investing heavily in
education, training, boosting knowledge absorption index and innovation
through intensive spending on R&D.

Keywords: Knowledge, Knowledge-based economy, Knowledge Index, Saudi
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Publication series

SeriesUNU-MERIT Working Papers

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