Key sto­ries from across the re­gion

Gulf Business - - CONTENTS - By Robert An­der­son

The UAE leads the Arab world in global com­pet­i­tive­ness af­ter mak­ing gains over the last decade, ac­cord­ing to a re­port pro­duced by the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum ( WEF) in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the World Bank.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion said Bahrain, Oman and the UAE had made no­table gains in com­pet­i­tive­ness over the last decade while Morocco, Al­ge­ria and Le­banon had seen their com­pet­i­tive­ness erode.

Gen­er­ally speak­ing, re­source rich coun­tries like the Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil mem­bers ranked much higher on the WEF Arab Com­pet­i­tive­ness In­dex than re­source-poor ones, al­though the or­gan­i­sa­tion noted that the re­gion as a whole had gen­er­ally suf­fered from de­clines in oil prices in re­cent years.

In terms of global com­pet­i­tive­ness, the UAE was ranked 17th, fol­lowed by Saudi Ara­bia in 30th, Bahrain in 44th, Kuwait in 52nd and Oman in 62nd.

Among the trends noted in the lat­est re­port were ris­ing con­cerns about cy­ber at­tacks, with half of sur­vey re­spon­dents con­cerned by the trend in the UAE this year com­pared to 30 per cent last year.

Large in­creases in data fraud con­cern were also noted in the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Ara­bia.

The WEF said that di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion away from nat­u­ral re­sources, in­creas­ing the role of the pri­vate sec­tor, en­sur­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple and pre­par­ing for the fourth in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion were key chal­lenges in the Arab re­gion.

“Over­all, the anal­y­sis of the com­pet­i­tive­ness strengths and weak­nesses of the re­gion com­pared with OECD coun­tries shows to­day that in­no­va­tion, tech­no­log­i­cal readi­ness, higher ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing, and labour mar­ket ef­fi­ciency are the four ar­eas where the re­gion is lag­ging fur­thest be­hind ad­vanced economies. The re­gion will need to in­vest in its peo­ple,” the WEF said.

The sur­vey ac­com­pa­ny­ing the re­port re­vealed the most prob­lem­atic fac­tors for do­ing busi­ness in the UAE ranked by ex­ec­u­tives in­cluded ac­cess to fi­nanc­ing, in­fla­tion, inad­e­quately ed­u­cated work­force, re­stric­tive labour reg­u­la­tions and poor work ethic in na­tional labour force.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.