Qatar ranked 19th among 60 countries — mostly high-income nations — in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2014, issued by International Institute for Management Development (IMD)
Despite a lower ranking compared to last year (10), this year’s assessment confirms Qatar’s strong performance across multiple fronts. The assessment is based on statistical indicators and opinions polled from local business leaders, giving a rounded view of the economy’s competitive position. Areas where Qatar ranked highly included: Economic performance (2), government efficiency (5), and business efficiency (24). Scope for improvement was identified in some areas, including infrastructure (42).
The ranking has been positively influenced by factors, including strong economic performance as represented by surplus in the current account and trade balance, Qatar’s low unemployment rate and solid growth of GDP and per capita GDP. Other contributing factors were a strong surplus in the general budget and its proportion to GDP, transparency and efficient financial management .
There are some areas where the report suggests there are opportunities for Qatar to improve performance. These include lowering export concentration by product and partner, strengthening direct inward investment flows, lowering regulatory burdens on business start-ups, increasing women labour force participation, strengthening high-tech exports and the share of renewables in energy requirements.
The Minister of Development Planning and Statistics H E Dr Saleh Al Nabit welcomed the report and said, “The results confirm that our overall performance is satisfactory and will help us identify those areas where we need to consolidate gains and make further improvements. “Qatar’s National Development Strategy sets out clear targets in the areas of business regulation, economic infrastructure, and private sector development that will lead to future advances. Qatar has no option but to diversify its economy. If it is to achieve this, we must continuously work to increase efficiency and productivity and improve our international competitiveness. The results show us where we need to redouble our efforts and improve further.”
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