The 2019 edition of The Global Competitiveness Report explores the connection among competitiveness, shared prosperity, and environmental stability.
In its latest assessment, the World Economic Forum (WEF) offered insights into the economic stance of 141 economies, which together account for 99 percent of the world's GDP. The report uses 12 pillars to analyze the economies of the countries included in the report; health, macroeconomic stability, and market size are just a few.
Overall, Singapore ranked as the most competitive economy in the world, followed by the United States and Hong Kong. Several economies in the Arab world witnessed an increase in their ranking with the exception of four countries. Two other countries maintained the same position in the list as that in 2018.
The following Arab countries were excluded from the ranking: Iraq, Syria, Comoros, Djibouti, Libya, Palestine, Somalia, and Sudan.
Arab countries ranked by global competitiveness
The UAE maintained its position as the most competitive economy in the Arab world. Globally, it ranked No. 25 on the list. In 2018, the Gulf nation ranked No. 27, indicating an improvement in the country's economic stance. After all, the UAE has been getting ready to host Expo 2020 and the city of Dubai will become the first Arab and Middle Eastern city to host the exhibition. So expecting less from the country is really not an option.
Now, how did other Arab countries rank in relation to each other?
- UAE (25th globally)
- Qatar (29th globally)
- Saudi Arabia (36th globally)
- Bahrain (45th globally)
- Kuwait (46th globally)
- Oman (53rd globally)
- Jordan (70th globally)
- Morocco (75th globally)
- Tunisia (87th globally)
- Lebanon (88th globally)
- Algeria (89th globally)
- Egypt (93rd globally)
- Mauritania (134th globally)
- Yemen (140th globally)
Some Arab economies improved, others deteriorated
Kuwait's spot in the 2019 list moved up eight ranks, making it the Arab country which witnessed the highest improvement. In 2018, the Gulf country ranked No. 54 on the list; it ranked No. 46 in this year's edition. Other Arab countries witnessed a climb up in the ranking. Here are the most improved countries:
- Kuwait (+8)
- Bahrain (+5)
- Saudi Arabia (+3)
- Jordan (+3)
- Algeria (+3)
- UAE (+2)
- Egypt (+1)
- Qatar (+1)
On the other side of the spectrum sit four Arab countries that witnessed a dramatic drop in their spot on the list.
Lebanon's ranking went down eight spots since 2018, the most dramatic downgrade among Arab countries. Lebanon is currently reeling under massive financial debt, estimated at around $86 billion or more than 150 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). While Lebanese officials have attempted to alleviate concerns over dollar liquidity and vowed to implement the necessary reforms, the country faces an alarming loss of confidence among foreign investors and depositors, according to Reuters.
In terms of deteriorating economies, here are the worst countries:
- Lebanon (-8)
- Oman (-6)
- Mauritania (-3)
- Yemen (-1)
Both Morocco and Tunisia maintained their ranking in the 2019 edition.