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Investment obstacles to sustainable development and competitiveness index

Faris Alshubiri (Dhofar University, Salalah, Oman)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 24 July 2020



This paper was aimed to develop better knowledge to show how obstacles impact Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in investment business on the global competitiveness index (GCI). This study was applied to six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economies to analyse and classify investment obstacles in order to improve GCI and mitigate the obstacles to doing business.


This study used the 12 pillars of the GCI to classify six GCC countries and 15 factors of SDGs using data from 2008 to 2017. The data were collected from the International Monetary Fund and GCI reports from 2008 to 2018 on all six GCC countries: the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. The paper adopted equations to analyse the GCI, along with 15 obstacles to doing investment business. The paper used regression and correlation tests by two proxies: obstacles to SDGs as an independent variable and the GCI as a dependent variable.


The findings of this study focussed on the best classification of the GCI, which went to Qatar, whereas the lowest rank went to Oman. The major components of obstacles to doing investment business are restrictive labour regulations, access to financing and inefficient government bureaucracy factors. These obstacles stand in the way of achieving SDGs and delay the improvement of the competitive field. Hence, the results of the regression test show that there is a negative and statistically significant impact in Oman, Kuwait and the UAE between obstacles to doing business on the GCI at the significance levels of 1% and 5%. The Pearson correlation matrix is strong between obstacles to SDGs, as the same elements of the GCI also exist in these countries, at 55.2%, 75% and 55.5%, respectively.

Research limitations/implications

There are some limitations related to the study period being from 2008 to 2017. Before 2008, the GCI consisted of nine pillars rather than 12, and there were 14 problems rather than 15 related to doing investment business. Hence, this does not match with the period of this study. Furthermore, the reports after 2017 did not mention the problems of doing business, only analysing the GCI.

Practical implications

The results of the study highlight the strategic and practical aspects of GCC countries diagnosing the SDGs to know how to reduce obstacles to sustainable development, which can enhance investments by improving the GCI.


The current study measured and evaluated how to mitigate the obstacles to SDGs in the GCC countries. It is the first study to explain these obstacles in the GCC countries, which are characterised by their huge wealth that contributes significantly to global economic development.



Alshubiri, F. (2021), "Investment obstacles to sustainable development and competitiveness index", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 39 No. 2, pp. 234-248.



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