Qatar leads the Middle East region in competitiveness

10 Sep 2010 Switzerland

QBA Members attended

Qatar leads the Arabic world and the Middle Eastern countries to rank 17th on the Global Competitiveness Index that is declared in the World Economic Forum’s annual report for this year. Qatar scored a competitiveness record of 5.10 this year, which qualified the state to jump from number 22 in 2009 up to number 17 in 2010 among a total of 139 countries covered by this year’s Global Competitiveness Report (GCR). According to the report, Qatar’s strong Competitiveness rests on solid foundation made up by high quality institutional frame work, stable macro economical environment, and efficient goods market. Compared to many other countries Qatar was relatively unharmed by the global economy crisis. The high growth combined with prudent governmental support to the financial sector contributed to maintaining a strong macroeconomic and financial suitability.

The Report contains a detailed country/economy profile for each of the 139 economies featured in the study, providing a comprehensive summary of the overall position in the Index rankings as well as a guide to what are considered to be the most prominent competitive advantages and competitive disadvantages of each. Also included is an extensive section of data tables with global rankings covering over 110 indicators.

The rankings are drawn from a combination of publicly available hard data and the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF), together with its network of Partner Institutes in the countries covered by the Report. Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA) is the local partner of WEF and is proud to put massive efforts to distribute, follow up and collect the survey questionnaire, which is designed to capture a broad range of factors affecting the economy expressed by the views of the whole business community. Qatari Businessmen association annually helps the WEF to deliver a comprehensive overview of the main strengths and weaknesses in the national economy, making it possible to identify key areas for policy formulation and reform.

“With the growing complexity of the global economy, The Global Competitiveness Report is a contribution to enhancing our understanding of the key factors which determine economic growth. By providing detailed assessments of the economic conditions of Qatar and other nations worldwide, the Report offers policy-makers and business leaders an important tool in the formulation of improved economic policies and institutional reforms," noted Sheikh Faisal, Chairman of Qatari Businessmen Association.

The top rankings of Switzerland, Sweden and Singapore show that good institutions and competent macroeconomic management, coupled with world-class educational attainment and a focus on technology and innovation, are a successful strategy for boosting competitiveness in an increasingly complex global economy. Business activity in these countries benefits from a well-developed institutional framework, characterized by the rule of law, an efficient judicial system and high levels of transparency and accountability within public institutions. Excellent infrastructure is an additional positive feature of the business environment. Our indicators point to the rapidly growing importance of higher education and training as engines of productivity growth.

Detailed information of this year’s GCR marks the movements up or downwards for some countries, while some others maintained their position on the index. The United States continues to decline from last year position, as it falls from 2nd to the 4th place. In addition to the macro economic imbalances that have been building up over time, there has been a weakening of the United State public and private institutions as well as lingering concerns about the state of its financial markets.



Leading within Asia are Singapore and Japan, ranked 3rd and 6th respectively, closely followed by Hong Kong (11), Taiwan (13), Korea (22) and Malaysia (26) and these economies are characterized by high-quality infrastructure, flexible and efficient markets, healthy and well-educated workforces and high levels of technological readiness and innovative capacity. Singapore ranked 3rd still the highest ranked country from Asia, the country institution continue to be asset as the best in the world. In addition to that the country competitiveness is buttressed by strong focus on education, providing individuals with the skills needed for rapidly changing global economy.

Within Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Qatar ranked 17th, followed by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ranked 21st, United Arab Emirates (UAE) ranked 25th, Kuwait 35th, and Bahrain 37th. The (MENA) region, experienced a down turn with average growth rate falling from 6.1 2008 to 2.2 in 2009 during the global economical crisis. However, MENA was less affected by the down turn than some other regions because it maintained weak enter-linkages with the global market, where Morocco (75), Libya (100) and Algeria (86).

The global competitive report is being released at a time when the global economy continues to be characterized by significant uncertainty, while emerging economics have bounced back to healthy growth. Advances economies still face difficulties such as persisting unemployment, weak demand and spiraling debt. IMF, predicted growth of (6.25%) for emerging markets, (2.25%) for advanced economics.