Global competitiveness rankings highlights affects of turbulence

Global_competitiveness_rankingsKlaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum

The latest World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012 ranks Qatar as the region most competitive economy and highlights the affect the recent turbulence in the region has had on North African economies.

According to the report, over the past year, the MENA region has been affected by a great deal of turbulence that will have an impact on national competitiveness and might further exacerbate the competitiveness gap between the Gulf economies and the rest of the region.

This trend is reflected in this year's GCI results, where most Gulf countries continue to move up in the rankings, while the competitiveness of many countries from North Africa and the Levant stagnates or deteriorates

Qatar reaffirms its position as the most competitive economy in the region by moving up three places to 14th position. Saudi Arabia joined Qatar in the top 20, which rose four places to 17th position.

The UAE fell two places to 27th despite being seen as a safe haven amid the uprisings associated with the Arab Spring during the first half of 2011.

Oman, rose two places to 32nd while Kuwait rose one place to be ranked 34th. Bahrain, the Gulf country worst hit by unrest, retained its position at 37th.

Tunisia, the country where the Arab Spring began, drops by eight positions to 40th place overall. While, Egypt slipped 13 places to 94th - the biggest decline of any of the countries covered in the study - following the revolution earlier this year.

Yemen, which has been gripped by political and social unrest for months, was ranked 138th with only Angola, Burundi, Haiti and Chad below it in the list.

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, said: "After a number of difficult years, a recovery from the economic crisis is tentatively emerging, although it has been very unequally distributed: much of the developing world is still seeing relatively strong growth, despite some risk of overheating, while most advanced economies continue to experience sluggish recovery, persistent unemployment and financial vulnerability, with no clear horizon for improvement."

The Global Competitiveness Report's competitiveness ranking is based on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI).

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