Oman has been ranked 70th on The Global Prosperity Index released by the UK-based Legatum Institute.
The report said a worsening business environment, among other reasons, is the key challenge facing the country. As per the report, Oman’s overall prosperity levels rank it above Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Yemen, but below Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE.
The Prosperity Gap uses a country’s GDP as a yardstick to measure a nation’s expected Prosperity Index ranking.
Oil dependence has a significant effect on prosperity delivery across the world, particularly in the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA), where problems such as insurgency and instability contribute to the prosperity deficits.“Oman has a large prosperity deficit. Its level of under-delivery, typical of the Gulf region, is worse than the UAE’s but better than the rest of the Gulf. Oman’s prosperity deficit has improved since the 2011-12,” the report said.
The Western world is not immune to challenges either. American prosperity has stagnated over the past decade. Even countries that were less badly affected by the financial crisis, like Australia, have seen prosperity decline over the past decade. Indeed, it is the only country in the top 20 to have seen prosperity fall.
“This demonstrates that despite the upward trend, countries cannot take rising prosperity for granted. To keep the global prosperity rising requires resolving ongoing conflicts, mitigating against economic disruption, and tackling the stagnation of key social outcomes in major developed economies,” the report said.
New Zealand is the world’s top-ranked country as the report said it has consistently delivered a large prosperity surplus through a combination of a strong society, free and open markets, and a high level of personal freedom.
The United States has consistently delivered a prosperity surplus over the past decade, but that surplus is falling as prosperity stagnates. This stagnation, combined with a sense that globalisation has left many behind, has caused discontent among Americans, who are turning to populism as a quick remedy. A similar story is playing out across Europe, as a rising tide of populism threatens to undermine what has long been one of the world’s most prosperous regions.
The two biggest drivers of global prosperity growth over the past ten years have been the world’s most populous nations, China and India, where many millions have been moved from poverty onto the road to prosperity. The success of these nations is the result of economic liberalisation and integration into the global economy, but both face severe environmental issues and each has developed a markedly different prosperity profile.