According to the 2022 IMD World Competitiveness Ranking, the UAE is the most competitive country in the Arab world.
Led by the UAE, GCC countries again dominate the Business Fundamentals ranking, which compares the legal, regulatory and tax frameworks of emerging market nations.
The UAE is followed by Qatar (2), Saudi Arabia (3), Oman (5), Bahrain (6) and Kuwait (11) as providing the best business environment in the 14th annual Agile Emerging Markets Logistics Index .
According to the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking 2022, the UAE is the most competitive country in the Arab world. The UAE also ranks as the 8th most competitive economy in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, after Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway and Ireland.
Innovation and help for small businesses will give the biggest boost to non-oil economic growth in Gulf economies, which have outperformed most other countries in the index, global supply chain executives said.
According to Agility, the global leader in supply chain services, the UAE ranks third in the 50-country index, after China and India. Saudi Arabia ranks sixth. Both countries rank in the top 10 in all four index categories: domestic logistics, international logistics, business fundamentals and digital readiness. Qatar ranks in the top 10 in all categories, but international logistics ranks 19th.
Other ranked countries from the Middle East and North Africa include Turkey (11); Oman (12); Bahrain (14); Kuwait (15); Jordan (16); Morocco (20); Egypt (21); Tunisia (32); Lebanon (33); Iran (36); Algeria (41); Libya (50).
Of the six GCC economies, Kuwait (15th overall) has done the most to improve competitiveness, making progress in every category. In terms of digital readiness, Oman moved up five places to 10th and Bahrain rose six places to 16th, the biggest improvement among the GCC countries.
According to Hatem El Safty, CEO of Business Link, the UAE is set to attract $66 billion in potential foreign direct investment into the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan by 2023 as global investors view the UAE as a desirable investment destination.
Thanks to its business and visa reforms, the UAE is expected to attract $22 billion in FDI inflows this year, while the MENAP region is expected to receive $56 billion in FDI inflows.
The index and survey of 750 global logistics executives form Agility’s annual snapshot of industry sentiment and ranking of key emerging markets around the world.
Industry executives were asked to list the most important drivers of economic diversification in the GCC countries, all of which are trying to reduce their reliance on oil and gas by accelerating private sector growth.
Respondents identified key factors as technological development and innovation; small business environment; infrastructure development; regional and global integration; business conditions for multinational corporations; skilled workforce; ending energy subsidies; and creating career opportunities for women.
Rankings for regions outside the GCC fluctuated wildly. Conflict, sanctions, political instability, economic missteps and the lingering fallout from the coronavirus have hurt the competitiveness of Ukraine, Iran, Russia, Colombia, Paraguay and others. Countries making leaps in some categories include: Bangladesh, Pakistan, Jordan, Sri Lanka and Ghana.
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