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The state of the knowledge-based economy in the Arab world: cases of Qatar and Lebanon

Tarek Ben Hassen (Department of International Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar)

EuroMed Journal of Business

ISSN: 1450-2194

Article publication date: 20 July 2020

Issue publication date: 8 June 2021

461

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the current state of the knowledge-based economy in two distinctive case studies in the Arab World: Qatar and Lebanon. Based on five aspects of the knowledge-based economy namely: ICT, human capital and education; innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic and institutional regime, we provide a careful view of the obstacles and challenges that Qatar and Lebanon are facing and how this is hindering their transformation to a knowledge-based economy.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology of this research is based on a literature review and information collected through semi-structured interviews with the different stakeholders of the knowledge-based economy in Qatar and Lebanon.

Findings

The research reveals that numerous factors shape the knowledge-based economy in Qatar and Lebanon. In Qatar, the main strength of the knowledge-based economy is the determination of the Qatari government to diversify the economy and the main weaknesses are the shortage of qualified human resources, the fear of failure and the low performance of the innovation system. In Lebanon, the knowledge-based economy is driven by the education system and the entrepreneurship culture, nevertheless the political instability of the country and the weak ICT infrastructure impede its development.

Originality/value

These findings contribute to the clarification and critical analysis of the current state of the knowledge-based economy in Qatar and Lebanon, which would have several policy implications.

Keywords

Citation

Ben Hassen, T. (2021), "The state of the knowledge-based economy in the Arab world: cases of Qatar and Lebanon", EuroMed Journal of Business, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 129-153. https://doi.org/10.1108/EMJB-03-2020-0026

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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