Muscat: Oman has been placed at number 7 among “the 10 most competitive economies in the Arab world” in the latest Global Competitiveness Report. It was earlier ranked 66th globally.
In its 2016-2017 report, three Arab world economies figured among the top 30 most competitive in the world, with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ranked at number 16, up by one point, Qatar at number 18, down by four points and Saudi Arabia at 29, down by four points.
The report further added that the highest oil importing economy was Jordan. An important finding of the report was that the region needed to perform better in the more complex areas of competitiveness if economies are to truly diversify. “In our innovation and sophistication pillar, the UAE holds firm on 21, Qatar has fallen six places to 18, Saudi Arabia has dropped seven places to 36 and Jordan has dropped one place to the 40th position.”
High-functioning markets can also drive competitiveness. “The UAE and Qatar boast of a highly efficient goods market. Among the best ways to unlock entrepreneurism for the region would be to include further reforms in three key areas—higher education and training, goods market efficiency and labour market efficiency,” the findings of the report pointed out.
The report is an annual assessment of the factors driving productivity and prosperity in 138 countries. The degree to which economies are open to international trade in goods and services is directly linked to both economic growth and a nation’s innovative potential.
“Declining openness in the global economy is harming competitiveness and making it harder for leaders to drive sustainable, inclusive growth,” said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman, World Economic Forum.
For the eighth consecutive year, Switzerland ranked as the most competitive economy in the world, narrowly ahead of Singapore and the United States. Following them was Netherlands and then Germany. The latter has climbed four places in two years.
The Global Competitiveness Report’s competitiveness ranking is based on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), which was introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2005.
Defining competitiveness as a set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country, GCI scores are calculated by drawing together country-level data covering 12 categories—the pillars of competitiveness—that collectively make up a comprehensive picture of a country’s competitiveness.
The 12 pillars are institutions, infrastructure, macro-economic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation.