UAE leads in World Economic Forum ranking

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Country’s economy remains most competitive in the region.

The UAE‘s macro-economic stability is the best in the world, thanks to sustainable public finances, and is on the right track in terms of improving its competitiveness, a new report showed.

According to the World Economic Forum, the UAE ranked 27 in its latest World Competitiveness Report 2018, which uses a brand new methodology to fully capture the dynamics of economies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The UAE was rated the 17th most competitive economy last year as per previous methodology, which is equivalent to present ranking.

In the latest report, the UAE achieved top position in a number of other sub-indices such as electrification rate, mobile broadband subscription, future orientation of government, ease of hiring foreign labour and ICT adoption among others.

Roberto Crotti, economist, World Economic Forum, said the UAE‘s performance has slightly improved since last year as the score climbed from 72.3 to 73.4, although it did not translate into a higher rank.

“Over this year, UAE has improved its skills base [53rd, up 1.4 points], the depth of its financial system [35th, up 4.5 points] and its business dynamism [33rd, up 3.8 points]. For example, the availability of credit and venture capital has slightly increased and the procedures to resolve companies’ liquidation have been made smoother. The UAE is certainly on the right track. Competitiveness, however, is about long-term growth and structural reforms,” Crotti added.

Hamad Buamim, president and CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the UAE‘s strong performance in macro-economic stability stems from the pro-active approach adopted by the government in stimulating the economy and ensuring a business-friendly environment.

He pointed out that the UAE‘s model of public-private sector cooperation has proven to be very effective in accelerating economic progress, addressing key challenges faced by businesses and removing barriers to trade.

Buamim explained that the UAE continues to update its laws and introduce new regulation to meet the needs of a maturing economy and fast-growing business community, and described the recent measures introduced by the government to reduce cost of doing business and attract foreign investment as important developments that would further enhance the UAE’s competitiveness.

Regionally, the UAE maintained its status as the most competitive economy, followed by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait.

The World Competitiveness Report 2018 said the UAE is pulling ahead quite well and outperforms most of the OECD countries on many dimensions. Similarly, the UAE, along with four other Gulf countries, is also among the top 10 nations in terms of agility and future-readiness.

“The UAE’s main strength lies in the quality of its enabling environment, as companies can operate under stable macroeconomic conditions, make use of good infrastructure and one of the highest levels of ICT adoption in the world. In all of these areas, the UAE is either at the global frontier or less than 20 points away from it. Sizeable investments in technological readiness have yet to fully turn into increased innovation capability, where the country lags further behind, ranking 35th globally and at only half the theoretical global frontier,” WEF analysts said.

Globally, the US has been rated the most competitive, followed by Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, the UK, Sweden and Denmark.

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