Complex Made Simple

Ranked: the world’s most competitive economies

* WEF Global Competitiveness Report assesses 138 economies around the world

* Competitiveness defined as “set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country”

* 3 Middle East nations made it to the top 30


As the world transforms almost on daily basis, with several factors disrupting our everyday life, the competitiveness of an economy, as a whole, wildly shifts accordingly.

As of now, Switzerland is the world’s most competitive economy, ranking first in the Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017, produced by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and released in December.

The report assesses 138 economies around the world, defining competitiveness as the “set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country.”


(Saudi government infusing cash into economy, may boost growth: data)


This set comprises 12 categories:  institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic 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.

Economies following Switzerland to make up the top ten are: Singapore, the United States, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong SAR and Finland, respectively.


(Non-oil economy robust in UAE and KSA; slow growth in Egypt: Survey) 


Middle East countries in the top 30

In the Middle East region, three countries ranked among the top 30 globally. The United Arab Emirates came in at the 16th spot, Qatar ranked 18th and Saudi Arabia was placed at 29th place.

According to the report, the drop in oil prices, seen by many in a negative light, proved to be a good stimulator, urging economies across the Arab world to advance their competitiveness agendas.

However, further economic diversification remains a clear need for energy-exporting nations, mainly those of the GCC.


(VAT to positively impact UAE economy: official)


Least competitive

Out of all the assessed economies, these are the ten least competitive: Yemen, which ranked 138th, followed by Mauritania, Chad, Burundi, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Venezuela and Congo, respectively.