Posted on July 05, 2011

Qatar has been named the most innovative economy in the Gulf according to an annual survey of 125 countries. The Global Innovation Index 2011 showed the future host of FIFA World Cup 2022 to be among the most innovative countries worldwide, beating both China (29th) and India (62nd), the world’s two largest emerging economies.

The gas-rich state, ranked 26th, was also the only Middle East country along with Israel to make the top 30, jumping nine places since 2010 when it was rated 35th in the world. The study, commissioned by leading business school INSEAD in partnership with other firms, scores countries based on the degree to which a country’s economic environment enables innovation, as well as actual innovative outputs.

“The world is entering a phase that demands novel approaches to solving problems of environment, economy, and access to essential goods (food, water) and services (healthcare),” said the report. “To address the problems, the focus is increasingly on innovation in measurement and policy circles.”

The UAE, ranked the Middle East leader for innovation in 2010 and 24th most innovative country around the globe, shot down 10 points this year to 34th place. Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia were also among the low scorers, Bahrain dropping six places to 46th, Kuwait falling 19 places to 52nd, Saudi Arabia staying at 54th position and Oman only increasing from 65th to 57th place. According to the report, these were “rather disappointing positions” for such high-income countries. As for other Middle East countries, Jordan recorded some of the best results.

“The position of Jordan, at 41st overall, is notable because it is more than 25 positions ahead of its closest competitor in the same region and income group, Tunisia,” said the report. It added that Jordan’s leverage comes from creative outputs, with a “strong dynamism at the level of residents’ trademark registrations at the national level (where it reached first place), and a relatively high level of creative goods exports.”

source: Arabian Business