DUBAI- In its most recent edition of the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, the World Economic Forum (Davos) has revealed that UAE has topped the Arab world and ranked 17th globally in global competitiveness ranking. The report also ranked UAE among the top 20 competitive economies globally for the fifth consecutive year. Additionally, it has indicated that UAE has maintained its ranking to be among the world's most significant innovation-based economies for the 11th year. The results of the report were unveiled today to participants in the Annual Meetings of UAE Government as a global testament to the success of the Government's strategy in establishing innovation culture in government institutions and consolidating competitiveness as a performance style and measuring the success of government services and initiatives aimed at realizing the happiness and welfare of the UAE community.
Commenting on the performance of the current year, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairwoman of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, stated: "The results of this year's competitiveness report came simultaneously with the UAE Annual Government Meeting sessions, marking as a global testament underscoring the importance monitoring the effectiveness and efficiency of government services, to ensure they are consistent with guidelines and directions set by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to adopt innovation-based approaches to maintain the ongoing progress in global competitiveness ranking and to realize our wise leadership's vision in sustaining development across all sectors in the country" Saif Mohammed Al Hajri, Chairman of the Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi, said that the UAE government has paid great attention to enhancing the competitiveness of the UAE in various fields, working to enhance the framework of a comprehensive vision that contributed to the principles of efficiency in the markets and improving the competences of the business environment. He pointed out that the various structural economic reforms in the UAE in recent years and the legislations and decisions that have taken place in various economic, administrative and institutional aspects have contributed to accelerating the growth of the economic activities of the country, enhancing the strategy of economic diversification and opening up the trade and providing a favorable business environment, confirming the country's advanced level of competitiveness.
Malik Al Madani, Director of Competitiveness Strategy Department at the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, said: "By virtue of the wise leadership's support and consolidation of the team efforts from federal and local entities, as well as the private sector, UAE today affirms its active global role in the world arena across various economic, social and technological sectors. We are working today as one team, under one vision and as per renewed plans and keeping pace with global changes. We will always be in line with our leadership's aspirations of making UAE as one of the best countries in the world by the year 2021 marking the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of founding the Union." UAE ranked first in the Arab world and 17th globally in the general competitiveness ranking by advancing in the scores rate of UAE performance from 5.26 in 2016 to 5.3 in 2017. By this achievement, UAE maintained its leading rank to be among the top 20 competitive economies according to the World Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 issued by the World Economic Forum (Davos) in Switzerland. This report is considered one of the most reputable competitiveness reports that monitors on an annual-basis the performance and competitiveness of global economies in terms of strengths, weaknesses and impact on standards of living, prosperity and welfare of their nations.
The 2017-2018 Report monitored 137 economies and ranked them based on performance according to 114 indicators grouped within 12 main pillars that include: institutions, infrastructure, health and primary education, labor market efficiency and others. The report methodology is based on data and statistics issued by the participating countries, as well as opinion surveys and questionnaires sent to executives and senior private sector investors.
According to this year's report, UAE has achieved an advanced ranking as a result of listing it within the top 10 globally in three main pillars. UAE came third globally in the Goods Market Efficiency Pillar, which is a global indication to the success of UAE’s economic diversification policy and the vision and strategic plans on performance efficiency of the UAE market. Furthermore, UAE came fifth globally in the Infrastructure Pillar, and this comes as a confirmation of the ongoing investment in infrastructure projects across the nation and the role this plays in sustaining UAE economy to become an attractive environment for business and investment. As for the Institution Pillar, which monitors the efficiency of government institutions, laws, and procedures dedicated for individuals and institutions, UAE has clinched the fifth place.
On an indicator level, UAE ranked among the top 20 countries in 80 out of total 114 indicators in the Global Competitiveness Report, which amounts to 70 percent of the indicators in total. The 2017-2018 Report witnessed great strides of the country's performance in a number of key indicators.
Within the Institutions Pillar, UAE moved to take up the first rank globally in "Efficiency of Government Spending" indicator, and ranked second globally in the "Public Trust in Politicians" and "Burden of Government Regulation" indicators, and ranked third globally in "Protection of Minority Shareholders’ Interests" indicator. All of this reflects the success of the country’s leadership's strategy and well-founded steps taken to achieve high levels of performance and efficiency in government work at the federal and local levels, and with the aim to ensure the happiness and welfare of UAE citizens and residents.
In the Infrastructure Pillar, UAE ranked first globally in the "The Quality of Roads" indicator, third globally in "Quality of Air Transport Infrastructure" and "Mobile-Cellular Telephone Subscriptions", ranked fourth globally for "Quality of overall infrastructure", "Quality of Port Infrastructure" and "Available Airline Seat Kilometres- millions/week" indicators. This performance reflects the success of UAE's strategy to continue injecting investments for the development and improvement of the State's infrastructure by extending new internal and external road networks, expanding airports, developing seaports and developing plans to link all emirates through rail networks as part of the Union Railway Project.
Lauding the development and progress of UAE marketplace and economy, the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 revealed that UAE achieved advanced positions in various indicators in listed in pillars of "Goods Market Efficiency", "Labour Market Efficiency" and "Macroeconomic Environment". UAE topped the world countries in "Effect of taxation on incentives to invest" and "Inflation/ annual % change" indicators. Also, UAE is ranked second globally in both indices of "Country Capacity to Attract Talent" and "Country Capacity to Retain Talent" came third in "Effect of Taxation on Incentives to Work" indicator.
As for the pillars of "Technological Readiness", "Business Sophistication" and "Higher Education and Training", UAE came first globally in the "Government Procurement of Advanced Technology Products" and ranked second in "Mobile-Broadband Subscriptions" indicator. Moreover, the UAE ranked third in both "State of Cluster Development" and "Availability of Scientists and Engineers", and fourth in "FDI and Technology Transfer" indicators.
The Global Competitiveness Report issued by The World Economic Forum (Davos) in Switzerland is one of the world's most important reports since its first edition published in 1971. The report aims to assist countries around the world to identify obstacles to sustainable economic growth and development of strategies to reduce poverty and increase levels of prosperity. The report assesses countries’ potentials to provide high levels of prosperity and well-being for their citizens. The report also provides a comprehensive assessment of the strengths and challenges facing the economies of countries.