Qatar Gulf News – Doha, Qatar, Thursday 29th September 2016. Why QATAR has been ranked among the TOP countries of global competitiveness? Qatar has been ranked 18th out of 138 countries as globally competitive by World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2016-17 mainly on account of robust competitiveness in its macroeconomic framework. Qatar scored 5.23 points in 2016-17, topping the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region in efficiency in many areas as macroeconomic environment, financial market development, innovation, health and primary education, and higher education and training.
However, Doha was seen slipping four positions from the 14th rank in Global Competitiveness Report of 2015-16 to stand behind the UAE, said the WEF, whose local partners in Qatar are the Qatari Businessmen Association and Qatar University, specifically the Social and Economic Research institute. Fast-diversifying Qatar – with a $76,576 gross domestic product (GDP) per capita – was ranked second in competitiveness in macroeconomic environment, seventh in goods market, 10th in institutions, 17th in labour market, 18th in infrastructure, business sophistication and innovation respectively, 21st in financial market development, 27th in health and primary education, 30th in higher education and training, 33rd in technological readiness and 50th in market size.
The UAE was ranked first in the GCC countries and 16th globally; while Saudi Arabia came in 29th position globally, followed by Kuwait (38), Bahrain (48) and Oman (66). In terms of efficiency in macroeconomic environment, Qatar was ahead of Kuwait, which came in sixth position, the UAE (38), Saudi Arabia (68), Oman (81) and Bahrain (113). In institutional efficiency, other GCC countries (barring the UAE with seventh position) were far behind Doha. Saudi Arabia got 24th rank, Bahrain (25), Oman (28) and Kuwait (59).
In infrastructure efficiency, the UAE was ranked fourth, while other GCC countries trailed behind Qatar with Saudi Arabian rank at 31, Bahrain at 32, Oman at 38 and Kuwait at 52. In the financial sector development, Qatar was at the top in the Gulf region as the UAE came at second position with 28th ranking globally, Bahrain (43), Saudi Arabia (47), Oman (55) and Kuwait (65).
In innovation, the other GCC countries lagged behind Qatar in efficiency as the UAE was ranked 25th globally, Saudi Arabia (42), Bahrain (45), Oman (76) and Kuwait (110). In the health and primary education, Qatar topped in the GCC with Bahrain’s efficiency ranking at 34, the UAE at 40, Saudi Arabia at 51, Oman at 69 and Kuwait at 76. In the higher education and training too, Qatar stood first in the Gulf region as the UAE was ranked 34th globally, Bahrain (44), Saudi Arabia (46), Oman (85) and Kuwait (94).
Finding that growth in GCC economies averaged 5.2% between 2000 and 2012, but fell to 2.5% in 2015; WEF said the forecast for 2016 is also 2.5%, and rising oil supplies are expected to keep prices low and limit growth expectations for the coming years.
Sources: QGN, AHLEN ROYAL Hospitality (reports 2016), CAYE GLOBAL News, BBC, CNN, Reuters, Qatar News Agency.