The Sultanate of Oman was ranked 46th out of 144 global economies dropping 13 places from last year according to the 2014-15 Global Competitiveness Report, recently released by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Although still classified as one of 24 economies in transition from Efficiency-driven to Innovation driven, Oman witnessed an overall decline in key competitiveness indices.
The Report examined the Sultanate’s economy based on efficiency enhancers, innovation and sophistication factors as well as the basic requirements of doing business, which includes infrastructure, health, education and economic factors. Restrictive labor regulations, inadequately educated workforce, inefficient bureaucracy and poor work ethic were some of the problematic factors raised during the WEF survey.
Oman scored well in the macroeconomic environment covering the Government’s budget balance, national savings and control of inflation – all of which help create an attractive business environment for inward investment and the export of non-oil Omani products and services.
HE Dr. Salem ben Nasser Al Ismaily, Chairman of Ithraa, said, “The Global Competitiveness Report clearly demonstrated the importance of strong institutions, professional workforce and capacity for innovation in the success of an economy. The drop in the rankings this year is disappointing but it provides us with an indication of the areas where we need to develop. Indeed, it is crucial that we address these challenges and focus on the factors that will make Oman more competitive in today’s global economy.”
Switzerland was at the top of the ranking for the sixth successive year. Singapore remains in second place while the US moved up one place to third and Finland dropped to fourth. According to the Report, there was a general decline in the performance within the GCC countries seeing Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain also drop in their rankings from last year.