(MENAFN -Arab News) Saudi Arabia shows the largest rise in PwC's new ESCAPE index despite the global financial crisis, with Australia, China, Chile, Poland, Russia and Romania among the rising stars, according to a report.
"Saudi Arabia rose 14 places between the year 2000 and 2012 to 12th in the rankings, a larger rise than any other country (except Russia which also rose 14 places," said John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC and co-author of the report.
He added that Saudi Arabia's rise reflects a strong performance on a range of economic, technological and social indicators as well as having a relatively stable political regime.
He added that Central and Eastern European countries such as Poland, Romania, and Russia have shown particularly strong rises since 2000. The advanced economies as a whole have fallen back since the global financial crisis hit in 2007, with the notable exception of Australia.
"Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, China and Chile led the way for emerging markets in our 2012 ESCAPE index rankings and actually scored higher than the US in that year. These countries are escaping from the middle income trap and graduating to become full members of the advanced economy club. Central and Eastern Europe has also been a rising star since 2000," he said.
Many northern European economies have also performed consistently well according to the index, including Sweden (1st), Switzerland (2nd), the Netherlands (4th), Finland (5th) and Denmark (6th).
Outside Europe, Singapore scored well (3rd) while Australia has moved up from 13th place in 2000 to 7th in 2012. Malaysia also performed well, moving up to 14th place in 2012 from 17th in 2007.
The US and the UK have dropped down the rankings of advanced economies between 2007 and 2012 according to the index. But it's the euro zone crisis economies ? Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece ? that have fallen the furthest since the crisis hit in 2007. Greece has now dropped to outside the top 30 countries.
None of the four MINT countries (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) have yet cracked the top 30, although all four have shown progress on the index since 2000.