World Governments Summit in partnership with Strategy& Middle East: A new way to measure productivity highlights the GCC’s potential to boost GDP by $2.5 trillion over the next decade

  • Research also suggests GCC can accelerate GDP growth from 3.8% to 5.4% over the next decade

UAE, 14 February 2024: The World Governments Summit is launching a report entitled “In Search of Productivity: The Next $50 Trillion in the Global Economy” in partnership with Strategy& Middle East, part of the PwC network. The report introduces a new way of measuring productivity that includes dimensions critical for our age, such as environmental impact, health, innovation, and the quality of institutions. The report uses this new framework to estimate the potential upside to the GDP of Gulf Cooperation Council economies if they can improve on their weakest determinant of their productivity performance.

The report reveals that GCC countries could accelerate the region’s GDP growth over the next decade from 3.8% to 5.4%. This acceleration would add more than $2.5 trillion to GDP over the next ten years, the research suggests. To unlock the upside of economic growth and prosperity, GCC countries can strategically improve their productivity performance by leveraging the Productivity Potential Index (PPI) to identify the weakest determinant of productivity, and then lifting that to the level of the best-in-class countries.

Productivity, a measure of economic performance that compares the amount of goods and services produced with the inputs needed to produce them, is the lifeblood of modern societies, affecting aspects that range from global competitiveness to individual quality of life. Yet, until now, traditional measures of productivity have not included increasingly important dimensions such as climate change, biodiversity loss, social change, aging populations, and other 21st century challenges. Moreover, traditional measures of productivity describe what happened in the past, rather than providing decision-makers with a future-focused analysis of what can be potentially achieved.

The new method of measuring productivity introduced in this report is forward looking and gives countries the tools with which to identify their overall productivity potential and the potential drivers that could accelerate it. It adds inputs for social capital, natural capital, and the quality of institutions to the traditional measures of labor and human capital, physical capital, and innovation and intangible capital.

The new framework takes the form of a Productivity Potential Index. It comes with an online policy simulator that enables users to see how the 25 countries in the first sample stack up against each other across 19 criteria grouped into six categories. The estimated potential productivity that the index provides answers the question ‘what would we expect Country A’s productivity to be, given its endowments, if it used those endowments as well as the average country across the sample?’

“The potential boost to GCC economic growth from a better understanding of the determinants of productivity is impressive and, if its findings are acted upon, this could substantially improve the lives of people in the region over the next decade,” said Chadi Moujaes, partner with Strategy&, part of the PwC network. “We hope our research will help governments everywhere identify more accurately where they can make a significant difference to their productivity and economic growth performance.”

“At a time when the world is looking to become more sustainable, it is essential to have appropriate tools for measuring economic progress that take into account criteria such as the environment and biodiversity, along with a range of social capital measurements,” said Dima Sayess, partner and Ideation Center lead at Strategy&. “This new index fills an important gap.”

A modern index for changing times

The benefits of adopting this new Productivity Potential Index are threefold:

  • First, the index enables countries to more easily identify both the strongest and weakest aspects of their economic performance.
  • Second, it highlights which factors can become the biggest game changers for productivity and economic growth, using benchmarks from best-performing countries.
  • Finally, the new index provides policy makers with a practical view of how they can close gaps and leapfrog performance, with the goal of attaining the levels already reached by economies with the highest productivity.

The index is modern not only in its conception but also in its calculations. With the help of a machine-learning process, the authors estimated country-specific potential productivity with data on the 19 criteria determining productivity, across all countries and variables. This enables users of the simulator to identify areas that individual countries would specifically need to focus on if they wanted to boost their own productivity.

The analysis underpinning the index is based on the latest academic thinking about productivity and its robustness has been tested with international economists who specialize in this field.

Report Insights

The Productivity Potential Index is expanding and new countries will be added to it in coming months. Alongside the potential for GCC countries to add $2.5 trillion to their GDP over the next decade, several other important insights emerge from this first edition. These include the following:

  • Across the sample, human and physical capital remain the primary determinants of productivity. These are followed closely by intangibles: institutional quality, scientific research, and innovation are all top five predictors. Mainstream economic statistics struggle to capture these intangibles, which is one of the reasons the PPI is needed.
  • There are key differences in the primary drivers of productivity across different types of economies. In developing countries, physical capital, life expectancy, institutional quality, and internet access are the most important predictors. In OECD countries, by contrast, inequality is the most important predictor, followed by physical and human capital. In the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, chief indicators include human capital (including physical health and education) and natural capital (including water stress, natural resources, and air pollution).
  • Finally, the new index is fully aligned with, supports, and responds to the Beyond GDP movement, recently highlighted by the UN Secretary General. The results indicate that the sources of growth and innovation in economies are increasingly aligned with decarbonization and social cohesion. Thus, the PPI will be a useful indicator not only for understanding the future sources of growth, but for delivering the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda.


Knowledge Partners

The World Governments Summit has engaged in knowledge partnerships with a selection of the most prominent consulting firms and global research institutions, including Strategy&; Middle East, to launch a series of reports and studies that will identify the most important trends and opportunities for governments to focus on the next phase, and for them to enhance their readiness for the future in a post-pandemic world. The reports focus on anticipating the future of governments around the world, studying global transformations and challenges facing the world, setting priorities and requirements for the next phase, and developing new work mechanisms and methodologies based on modern data to empower the next generation of governments. To download the report, “In Search of Productivity: The Next $50 Trillion in the Global Economy” and use the simulator to compare country productivity performance, please visit the following link:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Malabar Gold & Diamonds Continues its Expansion Drive in India

Malabar Gold & Diamonds Continues its Expansion Drive in India; Opens its…

البهجة والسرور تعم جامعة دبي

البهجة والسرور تعم جامعة دبي في احتفالها باليوم الوطني 52 تزينت جامعة…

ووك بويز تضيف لمسة من النكهات الآسيوية إلى صحارى الشارقة بافتتاح أحدث فروعها لتقديم تجربة طعام فريدة

في خطوة توسعية جديدة ووك بويز تضيف لمسة من النكهات الآسيوية إلى…

AD Ports Group and RSPA Sign Definitive Concession Agreement

In the presence of Egypt’s Prime Minister AD Ports Group and RSPA…