As one of the the most difficult economic climates in generations continues, Western countries still dominate the top 10 slots in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report, led by Switzerland and the United States.
But in the Middle East, 13 countries continue their upward trend of recent years, with a number of countries measurably improving their competitiveness. In this respect, significant differences between countries persist.
In many energy exporting countries, abundant oil windfall profits have triggered a wave of reforms aimed at improving competitiveness. As a result, some of the more successful reformers, such as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, place in the top tier of the emerging markets.
Although non–oil exporting countries from the region also benefited from the boom through foreign investment and remittances, the progress in improving competitiveness has been less pronounced or nonexistent.
Click ahead to see where these countries rank in the Global Competitiveness Report.