By Sarah Townsend
Strong performance comes despite ongoing Fifa corruption scandal
Qatar has come out top of a list of the most efficient governments in the world, researchers announced this week.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) this week released newly analysed data from its latest annual Global Competitiveness Report.
The report evaluates the efficiency of 144 of the world’s governments on measures, such as the wastefulness of government spending, burden of regulation and transparency of policymaking, to produce an overall global ranking.
Qatar was ranked top of the list of most efficient governments, followed by Singapore, Finland, Hong Kong, the UAE, New Zealand and Rwanda.
Malaysia, Switzerland and Luxembourg came out eighth, ninth and tenth respectively, while Venezuela, Italy and Argentina were ranked the three least efficient governments, according to WEF.
In a statement on its website announcing the findings, the think tank said: “The efficiency of government has a significant bearing on a country’s competitiveness and economic growth.
“Excessive bureaucracy and regulation, a lack of transparency, and inadequate legal frameworks all impose additional costs on business and impede expansion.”
Rwanda’s strong showing in seventh position was secured “thanks in large part to the low level of waste in government spending”, WEF added.
However, it gave no immediate explanation for Qatar to be ranked top, and the findings have prompted surprise among commentators in recent days.
The UK’s Independent newspaper quoted Dr David Roberts, an expert in Gulf international relations and security at King’s College London who lived in Qatar for four years, as saying the country’s strong showing in the table was “hard to fathom”.
“I don’t know what they were trying to measure, but in no meaningful sense have they derived a sensible conclusion that Qatar is the most efficient government in the world,” he said.
“I don’t care how solid their methodology is – most people who work in Qatar would not recognise this study’s findings.”
The oil-rich Gulf state is at the centre of a major Swiss corruption investigation into Fifa’s decision to award it the 2022 World Cup.
It has also faced ongoing international criticism over treatment of migrant labourers – prompting the government to issue a statement in June claiming that no workers had died on any World Cup construction site to date.