Muscat: Oman ranks as the leading Arab country for starting businesses, according to a new report.
This year’s Global Innovation Index (GII) theme is ‘Innovation Feeding the World’, and marks the release of the 10th edition of the report.
Oman ranked first in the Arab world for starting businesses. “This progress is due to the facilities provided by the Sultanate to investors and entrepreneurs through various government agencies in charge of commercial registration,” a Ministry of Commerce and Industry spokesman said.
The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2017 also ranked Oman 3rd in the Arab world with regards to rule of law, institutional pillars, political environment, and economic environment.
The Sultanate ranks 77th out of 129 countries globally included in the report, which was produced by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization.
In the Arab world, Oman also ranks 3rd for political stability, absence of violence, and regulatory environment; 4th in spending on education and human capital; and 5th for ease of paying taxes.
Switzerland ranked as the top country overall for the seventh consecutive year, followed by Sweden, Netherlands, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom.
With the exception of the USA, the top ten countries are all European countries. The bottom ranking country was Yemen.
The report focused on agriculture, water resources and sustainability in this year’s report. It noted that 14 of the 20 most water-scarce countries in the world were located in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
“Desalination currently plays a critical role in supplying water to the populations of MENA countries, and will continue to do so moving forward as these populations continue to grow.”
“But desalination plants are energy and resource intensive, and for that reason many MENA countries are investing in concentrating solar power (CSP) plants, which use large mirrors to generate thermal energy for desalination. Given the high costs associated with CSP, the public and private sectors will need to work together to ensure broader adoption,” the report said.