UAE leads Arab region in Global Competitiveness

By Eudore R. Chand

 DUBAI 9 October 2019: The UAE ranked first in the Arab World and 25th globally in the Global Competitiveness Report 2019, released by the World Economic Forum, Davos, on Wednesday.

According to the report, which assesses the competitiveness landscape of 141 economies, providing unique insight into the drivers of economic growth, the UAE gained two positions since the last edition.

Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, and Chairman of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, said:” We are pursuing the approach…which focuses on hard work and diligence to improve and develop performance in all competitiveness indicators, especially those associated with the UAE Centennial 2071 project, through modernisiation and updating of legislations and streamlining of procedures as well as the adoption of innovation to move up on the scale of global competitiveness and deliver the leadership’s vision and sustain development in competitiveness indicators.”

Launched in 1979, the report provides an annual assessment of the drivers of productivity and long-term economic growth. The assessment is based on the Global Competitiveness Index, GCI, which maps the competitiveness landscape of 141 economies through 103 indicators organized into 12 pillars. These pillars are:

  • Institutions, Infrastructure; ICT adoption;
  • Macroeconomic stability;
  • Health; Skills;
  • Product market;
  • Labour market;
  • Financial system;
  • Market size;
  • Business dynamism; and
  • Innovation capability

For each indicator, the index uses a scale from 0 to 100 and the final score shows how close an economy is to the ideal state or “frontier” of competitiveness.

UAE Improves Rankings

In detail, the UAE has made significant improvements in 52 indicators in this year’s report and maintained its performance in other 27 indicators of the 103 indicators.

The UAE has been ranked among the world’s top five countries in 19 indicators and among the first 20 countries globally in 57 indicators – more than 50 percent of indicators monitored by the report this year.

In sub-indicators, the UAE came first globally in the Macroeconomic stability, second in ICT adoption and fourth in Product market.

The UAE also advanced in eight out of 12 key pillars: Infrastructure; ICT adoption; Education; Skills;Product market; Labour market; Business dynamism and Innovation capability.

As for sub-indicators, the UAE advanced in 17 out of 22 in 2019. The UAE came in the top ten globally: Public-sector performance (4th), Domestic competition (6th), Security (7th), Trade openness (7th), Entrepreneurial culture (8th), Infrastructure and transport(8th) and Future orientation of government (9th).

On the Macroeconomic stability, the UAE lead in four indicators:Inflation, Debt dynamics, Mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions and Credit gap.

It came second globally in Electricity access % of population, Mobile-broadband subscriptions and Internal labour mobility. It took the third place in Government’s responsiveness to change and fourth in Efficiency of legal framework in challenging regulations,Burden of government regulation, Legal framework’s adaptability to digital business models, Future orientation of government, Fibre internet subscriptions, Pay and productivity and Venture capital availability. It came fifth in Internet users, Growth of innovative companies and Distortive effect of taxes and subsidies on competition.

The UAE occupied the sixth place in Efficiency of legal framework in settling disputes, Quality of road infrastructure, Attitudes towards entrepreneurial risk and Efficiency of air transport services, seventh in Organized crime impact on businesses, eighth in Government ensuring policy stability and Critical thinking in teaching, ninth in Homicide rate per 100,000 pop and Growth of innovative companies, Prevalence of non-tariff barriers and Financing of SMEs.

Singapore has overtaken the United States to become the most competitive nation in the world, according to the 2019 Global Competitiveness Report. Hong Kong was the third most competitive economy worldwide followed by The Netherlands.

The Global Competitiveness Report is a flagship publication of the World Economic Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society.