We are the second least competitive economy in the hemisphere, outdone only by Haiti. Overall, we are ranked 126th out of 144th countries surveyed. But something in the ranking jumped out at me: the rankings of energy exporters.
- Qatar is ranked 11
- Norway is ranked 15
- Saudi Arabia is ranked 18
- The UAE are ranked 24
- Oman is ranked 32
- Kuwait is ranked 37
- Indonesia is ranked 50
- Iran is ranked 66
You got it … freakin’ IRAN, with sanctions and the threat of war looming, is ranked 66th!
Now, I haven’t gone over the methodology for this thing, but I do know this makes headlines and is taken seriously by at least some segment of society, so we can’t simply discard it.
The usual rap is that energy exporters tend to be bogged down by red tape, overvalued currencies, voracious governments, and high taxes, all of which discourages investment and cripples the non-oil sector. It’s the resource curse, right? Maybe not so much: turns out many energy exporters are highly competitive.
Perhaps chavistas start asking advice on competitiveness in our bilateral agreements with Iran.