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Kingdom ranks 7th most competitive Arab economy in global report

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Oct 10,2019 - Last updated at Oct 10,2019

AMMAN — Jordan ranked as the 7th most competitive Arab economy according to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2019, which was published on Wednesday. 

The Kingdom's performance saw an improvement of three points compared to its 2018 ranking, ranking 70th on the global index, according to the report. 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) led the regional rankings at 25th globally, followed by Qatar (29th) and Saudi Arabia (36th), the report stated. Oman, Lebanon and Yemen witnessed drops in their performance. 

In the report, Singapore was listed as the world's most competitive economy with a score of 84.8 (+1.3 points) during 2019, while the US remained the most competitive large economy in the world, ranking 2nd on the global index.

The WEF report said that the Arab world has made significant improvements in the ICT sector, as many Arab countries have built a sound infrastructure. 

The World Bank also listed Jordan among 20 countries whose "ease of doing business" score has improved, according to a ranking published on its website at the end of September.

Areas of improvement for Jordan include obtaining credit, paying taxes and resolving insolvency, according to the report.

Jordan expanded access to credit after the credit bureau began offering credit scores to banks and other financial institutions, the report said.

It also introduced a new law on secure transactions, which regulates functional equivalents to loans secured with movable property, such as financial leases and fiduciary transfer of title.

Economist Mazen Marji said on Wednesday that the indicators that have shown improvement are still a part of the big issues facing the economy, noting that the Kingdom should continue to work on the larger issues of debt, unemployment, poverty, budget and trade balance deficiencies, in addition to corruption and tax evasion.

Marji told The Jordan Times over the phone that all these problems hinder the national economy's growth and should be addressed to improve the score and rank of the Kingdom on international indexes. 

"We need to work more towards achieving progress in the main indicators. When these are addressed and resolved, the economy will grow better," he concluded. 

Earlier at the launch of the World Bank report, economist Husam Ayesh told The Jordan Times that the government works continuously to improve Jordan's business environment in order to attract investments and boost the economy.

Ayesh said that processing taxes has become more efficient, regulations governing credit have improved over time and many other indicators have shown progress, but Jordan must work hard in order to see rise in the country's ranking.

"We need to significantly improve more indicators due to their importance in economic performance and attracting investors, which will ultimately ease the transition into an economy that is able to offer advanced investment and a safe environment for all investors," Ayesh said at the time. 

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