UAE ranks among top 30 most com­pet­i­tive na­tions in the world

Gulf Business - - NEWS AND VIEWS - By Aarti Na­graj

The UAE has ranked 27th out of 140 coun­tries in the lat­est Global Com­pet­i­tive­ness re­port is­sued by the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum ( WEF) – the high­est in the Mid­dle East re­gion.

The coun­try had an over­all score of 73.4 out of 100. It ranked 27th out of 135 coun­tries in the 2017 edi­tion – ac­cord­ing to a com­par­i­son tool on the WEF web­site.

The Geneva-based or­gan­i­sa­tion, which as­sessed economies across 98 dif­fer­ent in­di­ca­tors, added new met­rics to its 2018 rank­ings such as work­force di­ver­sity and press free­dom.

The re­port fo­cuses on 12 main driv­ers of pro­duc­tiv­ity in­clud­ing – in­sti­tu­tions, in­fra­struc­ture; tech­no­log­i­cal readi­ness; macroe­co­nomic con­text; health; ed­u­ca­tion and skills; prod­uct mar­ket; labour mar­ket; fi­nan­cial sys­tem; mar­ket size; busi­ness dy­namism and in­no­va­tion. The UAE econ­omy’s main strength lies in the “qual­ity of its en­abling en­vi­ron­ment, as com­pa­nies can op­er­ate un­der sta­ble macroe­co­nomic con­di­tions (first), make use of good in­fra­struc­ture (15th) and one of the high­est lev­els of ICT adop­tion in the world (sixth)”, the re­port stated.

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. The qual­ity of the coun­try’s hu­man cap­i­tal re­mains a key con­strain­ing fac­tor, with the cur­rent work­force hav­ing on av­er­age less than 10 years of school­ing and the labour mar­ket still char­ac­terised by in­ef­fi­cient use of the avail­able pool of tal­ent,” it added.

The re­port urged the UAE to con­tinue adopt­ing re­forms to spur busi­ness dy­namism and in­crease the ef­fi­ciency of prod­uct mar­kets, par­tic­u­larly in the ser­vice sec­tor.

“Re­cent im­prove­ments of the in­sol­vency frame­work rep­re­sent a pos­i­tive step in this di­rec­tion,” it said.

Mean­while Saudi Ara­bia ranked in 39th po­si­tion with a score of 67.5 out of 100.

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