Assessing Competitiveness in the Arab World: Strategies for Sustaining the Growth Momentum
18 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2007
Date Written: May 2007
The high energy prices of the past few years have brought the Arab world the highest growth rates in nearly three decades. So long as energy prices remain at their present high levels, it is safe to suggest that the Arab economies especially those endowed with substantial oil and gas reserves could sustain the ongoing prosperity for a while. But there lies the danger as well. What if oil prices take an unexpected downward dive, as they have done in the past three decades? More worrisome, what if the current prosperity postpones the adoption of structural reforms needed to sustain the growth momentum? Such concerns about the long-term prospects of the region and the likely trajectory of reform are shared by international observers, policymakers and the general public in the Arab world. Yet, only a few regular assessments of economic developments in the Arab world are produced. This chapter makes a contribution towards closing this gap by assessing the competitiveness of Arab economies at present. Utilizing the results of the most recent World Economic Forum's Executive Opinion Survey, the paper benchmarks the competitive performance of Arab countries against selected comparators.
Keywords: Arab countries, Middle East, growth, competitiveness
JEL Classification: N15, O53
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation