Qatar stands among the top 20% countries world-wide, and comes within the top 5% of countries within the Middle East and Africa (ranking third), in productivity potential, according to KPMG’s Growth Promise Indicators (GPI) index.

The index assigns a GPI rating (from zero to 10), based on information taken from global data sources, on 15 individual categories including education, transport quality, tech-readiness, and financial services.

According to the study, wider trends in the analysis suggest that the real strides made by countries have been driven by improvements in infrastructure, and in particular in tech-readiness — both of which have featured prominently in Qatar’s development in recent years.

On the ranking, Ahmed Abu-Sharkh, country senior partner at KPMG in Qatar, said, “The GPI report explores how individual countries can grow sustainably and fulfil their potential. I was delighted to see that Qatar ranks 34th of 181 countries in the report, placing it among the top 20% world-wide for potential growth, representing Qatar’s standing on the world’s economic stage and commitment to developing a sustainable future for the country’s citizens and residents.”

The report shows that a number of countries are accelerating development through smarter investments in technology or infrastructure. However, it is important that countries also invest in the right education and training to equip future generations with the skills they need to thrive in the future.

On this, Abu-Sharkh said, “Qatar’s National Vision 2030 makes it clear that the government is committed to the country’s future and addresses many of the critical success factors raised in the GPI including education, infrastructure, health and trade.”

The study found institutional strength, which covers performance in areas such as government effectiveness, regulatory quality, and business rights, to be the most important category amongst the GPI components and this is the category which Qatar scored highest on.

Latest data shows high scores on institutional strength are not dependent on income level, with lower income countries like Rwanda and Bhutan having higher scores than higher income peers.

Western European countries top the GPI league table, with the Netherlands ranking 1st, Switzerland 2nd, Luxembourg 3rd and Norway 5th. Hong Kong (4th), a jurisdiction added to the report as a comparator, and Singapore (7th) were the only non-European countries and jurisdictions to make the top 10.

Despite Brexit, the UK ranking remains unchanged at 13th, just behind Canada, which is up two places to 12th as a result of institutional and infrastructure improvements.

However, through policies such as the Industrial Strategy there is everything to play for to move the UK higher up the rankings.

Many of the larger global economies rank outside the top 10, including Germany (14th), Japan (20th), United States (23rd) and France (24th).

Meanwhile, India rose three places in the ranking helped by a rise in business rights.

Yael Selfin, chief economist at KPMG in the UK and author of the report, said:

“Institutional reforms that raise government effectiveness and regulatory quality do not require the size of investment needed to improve infrastructure, yet they can bring about major improvement to countries’ growth potential.

“While Western Europe continues to dominate the top ranking, this year’s GPI results saw big improvements across all regions, with countries like Indonesia, Serbia, Argentina, and Algeria seeing significant increases in their ranking, and large emerging economies like India also on the rise. It is encouraging to see better policies to support increased prosperity disseminate around the world.”