Qatar is giving the United Arab Emirates some fierce competition.
Qatar has surpassed the UAE to become the most competitive Arab economy, according to the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking 2016 . Coming in thirteenth out of 61 economies evaluated by the annual study, Qatar finished two spots above the UAE, which came in at fifteenth.
However, both nations have fallen overall compared to last year's ranking. The UAE ranked No. 12 and Qatar ranked No. 13, according to the 2015 report . Jordan is the only other Arab economy ranked by the study, coming in at No. 52.
The United States was also dethroned as the world's most competitive economy in 2016, falling to third place. China Hong Kong came in at No. 1 and Switzerland came in at No. 2.
Each ranking by IMD is based on analysis of over 340 criteria derived from four principal factors: economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure. Responses from an in-depth survey of more than 5,400 business executives, who are asked to assess the situation in their own countries, are also taken into consideration.
“One important fact that the ranking makes clear year after year is that current economic growth is by no means a guarantee of future competitiveness," Arturo Bris, Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, said in a press release . “Nations as different as China Mainland and Qatar fare very well in terms of economic performance, but they remain weak in other pillars such as government efficiency and infrastructure.”
Bris also pointed to the growing global inequality that can be observed when comparing the data compiled by the annual ranking over the years. "Since 1995 the world has become increasingly unequal in terms of income differences among countries, although the rate of increase is now slowing,” he said.
“The wealth of the richest countries has grown every year except for the past two, while the poorer countries have seen some improvement in living conditions since the millennium. Unfortunately, the problem for many countries is that wealth accumulation by the rich doesn’t yield any benefits for the poor in the absence of proper social safety nets."