In the global picture of innovation that emerges from the Global Innovation Index 2013, the Middle East shows continued strengths – in particular through the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries – as well as intra-regional differences.
Overall, among GCC countries, the United Arab Emirates remain the local champion (38 in the global ranking), followed by Saudi Arabia (42), Qatar (43), Kuwait (50) and Jordan (61). Clearly, some oil rich countries such as Algeria continue to score below par in terms of innovation efficiency (i.e. the ratio between innovation output and input scores). The picture is less easy to decipher for Qatar (slightly under par among GCC countries) and Saudi Arabia (slightly above par among GCC countries) in that respect (Figure 1).
The discussion that took place in INSEAD’s premises in Abu Dhabi on July 3, 2013 showed how much importance local businesses and observers are devoting to innovation as a key to economic diversification and sustainable global competitiveness. The importance of pursuing efforts to attract high-quality education institutions and to foster the attractiveness of the region for innovative talents clearly remains a priority in the GCC region and beyond.
Download the slides prepared for the MENA event in Abu Dhabi, July 3, 2013, which include the above chart and more, here.
Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director, INSEAD European Competitiveness Initiative