Economic Diversification Index reveals how countries adapted to shocks, diversified economies

The 2023 edition of the index launched by the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government expands coverage to 105 countries


A Staff Reporter

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The launch of Global Economic Diversification Index at the World Government Summit 2023. — Supplied photo
The launch of Global Economic Diversification Index at the World Government Summit 2023. — Supplied photo

Published: Tue 14 Feb 2023, 9:34 PM

Covid-19 has demonstrated how diversified economies can better adapt to major shocks, revealed the Global Economic Diversification Index 2023, the latest edition of the report, launched by the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) with a panel of global experts from the IMF and the World Bank at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

The second edition of the Index, which is developed by the MBRSG in partnership with The World Government Summit, expands its coverage in 2023 to a total of 105 countries, up from 83 last year. It continues to cover all geographies, resource and non-resource-based economies over a period of 22 years. The Index quantifies countries’ diversification journey globally, by specifically focusing on three aspects of diversification: Output diversification, trade diversification and government revenue diversification.

The EDI is the first comprehensive global assessment of economic diversification that allows for an international, cross-country, and regional comparison and ranking of countries. As a policy and decision making tool, it is designed to allow countries to visualise their global ranking on each measure of diversification (production, government revenue, trade), across regional and income groups and within their natural resource grouping. The data of the EDI is already informing policy pathways across governments and with international agencies around the world.

Country and regional rankings

Overall, the 2023 EDI rankings revealed that the top 10 most diversified economies have remained the same. The US, China and Germany have held on to their top three positions. However, the gap between the US and China narrowed from a 21.6-point difference in 2019 to just a six-point difference in 2022. The results also show that the size of the economy is not an impediment to economic diversification as several of the top 10 countries, which are relatively small economies, including Singapore, Switzerland and Ireland, were able to diversify their economic output base and trade.

The report indicates that over time, the gap between the most and least diversified nations has mostly widened. The MENA region has witnessed a notable improvement towards the latter part of the 2010s decade as many oil exporters began to accelerate their diversification plans. Meanwhile, in the GCC region, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have made the most significant economic diversification progress.

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