United Arab Emirates Leading Competitiveness in the World

Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

According to latest World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (September, 2014), United Arab Emirates has tremendously excel in different categories in the world. The UAE jumps 7 ranks in the latest Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 issued by the World Economic Forum. It is the 12th most competitive nation globally ahead of developed economies such as Canada, Denmark and South Korea. Overall, the UAE improved its performance in 78 indicators out of 114.

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Under the leadership of The President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, UAE macro-economy is constantly evolving due to which security and stability indicators are among the best in the world.

World Economic Forum report shows that UAE has made a remarkable progress in 78 sub-indicators during just one year. Its remarkable achievements are given below as:

(a)Absence of Inflation & Absence Organized Crime

The UAE ranks first for the absence of inflation and the absence organized crime globally. It is because of constant socio-economic prosperity, price control mechanism, philosophy of welfare and streamlining of demand-supply chains in the country. It is indeed a great achievement because of weak global economic conditions and regional political instability, absence of inflationary trends means greater economic stability in the country. Mohammed bin Rashid says that the well-being and prosperity of our citizens has been, and always will remain at the center of our focus and priority. Our message to those around us is that the key to stability lies in the creation of real development.

UAE is also rated first in absence of organized crime in the world. It shows perfection excellent performances of law enforcement agencies and of course high levels of efficiency and vigilance on the part of different regulatory bodies in the country. It also reflects the high level of social consciousness of its people and organizations alike. It highlights the spirits of dutifulness, honesty, dedication and above all social justice in UAE which is natural check against any crime. Visionary leadership of the UAE has played very important role in achieving this end.

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(b)Quality of Roads

UAE ranks first globally in terms of quality of roads on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) for 2014-2015. It is achieved due the wise policies of the government and the directives of the wise leaders, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Vice President and Prime Minister of U.A.E., and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The Ministry of Public Works, in coordination with Emirates Competitiveness Council, adopted the quality of roads as a global index for achieving the first place in response to the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid on charging ministries with the responsibility of achieving the first places on global indices. The federal ministry has constructed 800 km of federal roads across U.A.E. and is working on a strategic initiative to complete the connection of all municipalities and residential areas with the high-quality federal road network, in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid for ensuring the highest quality of life for all Emiratis and residents and the social cohesion of the country.

(c) Effectiveness of Government Spending

UAE ranks second for the effectiveness of government spending. It speaks concept of check and balance. It stands for efficiency, productivity and sense of duty. The government of the UAE has already introduced and institutionalized many meaningful reforms in the government sector and e-government is one of them. It is achieved by applying appropriate economic policies, programs, internal checks, budgeting, and the last but not the least, total transparency.

(d)Government Procurement of Advanced Technology

ICT 1(e)Impact of Taxes on Investment and the lack of Trade Barriers

It secures second ranking in the indicators of “impact of taxes on investment and lack of trade barriers globally. Right from the beginning, UAE has been pursuing gradual economic liberalization, tax incentives and remove all barriers for trade and commerce. Its attractive taxes have a positive impact on investment. UAE’s lack of trade barriers has made it hub of trade & commerce in the region and globe alike.

Its diversified performance can be attributed to the successful policies and breadth of businesses which have created a talented, highly diverse, stable, and competitive business environment across the UAE. It is complemented by the generally high degree of trust in government and safety and security in the UAE. Together these attributes have given UAE a competitive advantage over most other countries.

(f)Basic Requirements

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The UAE showed significant success in all overarching pillars of the report, over the last year. It ranked second up from 4th in basic requirements which measures the readiness of regulations and institutions, infrastructure, health and primary education.

(g) Absence of Government Bureaucracy

The United Arab Emirates stands third in terms of absence of government bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is the UAE is people, business and investments friendly that is why it has become one of the ideal destinations for FDIs. It pursuers result oriented policies. It always readies for any kind of conflict resolution, most necessary for a vibrant country and society alike. It follows simplistic approach to accommodate people’s concerns. It also shows great commitments of its leadership towards its people.

(h)Citizens’ confidence in Government and Leadership

UAE achieves third ranking in the category of citizens’ confidence in the government and leadership. It shows great political commitments of its leaders towards its people. Under the visionary Presidency of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan,UAE has successfully transformed itself a dynamic and vibrant country. It shows that government is people friendly and cares about their basic necessities of life.

(i)Best Infrastructure in the world

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According to the last published report of World Economic Forum, UAE achieves third position the category of best infrastructure in the world. UAE has already achieved tremendous development in the field of infrastructure which has made it one of the ideal destinations for investors, businessmen, tourists, job seekers and the last but not the least even students. It splendid infrastructure development has successfully transformed its service sector, banking, and hoteliers in the country. His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai says that appropriate strategies, planning and continuous review, evaluation and implementation are the main reasons of the UAE best rankings in the world.

(j)Quality of Ports

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UAE ranks third in the quality of ports. Ports play very important role in the promotion of all kinds of economic activities. It connects people and makes business transactions easy. It supports trade and commerce. It generates jobs. It plays very important role in GDP. UAE ports are the busiest and productive in the region and world.

(k) Efficiency of Customs Procedures

It ranks third in the efficiency of customs procedures. It again shows its functional strength and high level of capacity building in the service sector.

(l)Attracting Professional Talent

UAE also ranks third for attracting professional talent in the country. UAE has been one of the most attractive markets for professionals in the world. It has been one of hot-spot for job-seekers in the region and the world alike.

Shaikh Mohammed said that the UAE has progressed in many important sectors/areas because of the continuous hard work of federal and local teams which are performing as one, equipped with a strategic vision 2021. He said: “Despite the many challenges facing our region, our main focus has been, and will remains on progressing in our nation, and developing our economy for the on-going welfare of our citizens.

It is ranked fifth best in the world “macroeconomic environment” the state of its overall economy. It also achieved high rankings for its higher education and training (6th), institutions (7th) and labour market efficiency (8th). It ranks 3rd in terms of burden of regulation and 7th for reliability of police.

In Efficiency Enhancers which evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of higher education systems, labour market, financial market and technological readiness, the UAE ranked 14th globally, up from 20th, and 21st in Innovation and Sophistication, up from 24th.

Basis of GCR Assessment (2014-15)

The GCR assesses 144 countries on their ability to provide high levels of prosperity and welfare to its citizens, along a series of performance indicators which evaluates the country’s ability to provide the suitable infrastructure for investments. The UAE is currently ahead of developed economies such as Denmark, Canada, France, South Korea and Taiwan, as well as being ahead of countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China. The nation also leads all the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries.

Competitiveness

The WEF defines competitiveness as the “institutions, policies, and factors that determine the level of productivity”, and measures the competitiveness of 144 countries against a dozen “pillars”. These include the quality of its institutions, infrastructure, health care and primary education, the efficiency of its labour market and its technological readiness, business sophistication and level of innovation.

To measure these pillars, the index uses statistical data such as school enrolment rates, government debt, budget deficit and life expectancy, drawn from sources including internationally recognised agencies, such as the United Nations agency, the International Monetary Fund and the World Health Organisation.

To produce its report, the WEF works with national partner organisations around the world. In the UAE they include the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, the Dubai Competitiveness Office, Zayed University and the Emirates Competitiveness Council.

Conclusion

The United Arab Emirates overall performance in the latest edition of Global Competitiveness Report (2014-15) reflects the concerted and comprehensive national competitiveness strategy and its alignment with the economic and social objectives for the ultimate well-being and prosperity of the UAE. The World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Index now places the UAE as the top-performing economy in the Arab world and in 12th place overall in the international standings.

The UAE places high value on the private sector and investors and has unrelentingly tried to ensure a safe context in which to conduct businesses. UAE is now among the safest places to do business, not just in the Middle East, but indeed, internationally.

UAE has always prospered to enhance its position as a global leader in doing business, and as an attractive environment for business and investment opportunities. The efforts of the government and the different economic sectors, have contributed to the economy of the UAE in being amongst the highest ranked economies of the world in a number of major international competitiveness reports.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said the UAE’s surge up the league table was a tribute to federal and local teams working as one for the country’s progress.

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