UAE ranked 7th most competitive in the World


Abdul Basit

Dubai – The UAE has been ranked seventh most competitive economy in the World in 2018 as the country in a record performance jumped three positions in the latest ranking released on May 23.

Globally, the US overtook Hong Kong to become the most competitive economy followed by Hong Kong, Singapore, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

The UAE surpassed Norway (8), Sweden (9), Canada (10), Germany (15), Australia (19), UK (20), Japan (25), France (28) and Italy (42) in the rankings.

According to the IMD World Competitiveness Centre’s report, all Middle East countries experienced improvement, with the exception of Saudi Arabia which dropped 3 places to 39. India jumped one position and ranked at 44.

Jose Cabellero, senior economist at IMD World Competitiveness Centre, said that the UAE has made tremendous progress in competitiveness in the last years, climbing to the top 10 in 2017 and further advancing to the 7th position in 2018, driven by top ranking in areas such as ‘international trade’, ‘international investments’ and ‘attitudes and values’, to mention a few.

In addition, several other factors assisted in improving the ranking, such as the absence of tax, improving efficiency of government spending, ease of dealing with the government, including ease of paying taxes and supportive road, port and air infrastructure.

The IMD World Competitiveness Centre’s 2018 report data showed the UAE topped in current account balance (percentage of GDP), attitude and values in business efficiency, international trade, employment percentage, relocation threats of production, relocations threats of R&D facilities, relocation threats of services, consumption tax rate, government decisions, ageing of society, immigration laws, redundancy costs, labour force, overall productivity, international experience, competent senior managers, attitude towards globalisation, need for social and economic reforms, public-private partnerships and quality of air transportation.

In Asia, Japan (25), South Korea (27), Malaysia (22) and India (44) all saw slight improvements while Taiwan (17), Thailand (30) and Indonesia (43) dropped a few places. The Philippines experiences the most significant decline in the region, shifting nine places to 50.

Western European economies followed an opposite pattern, with very few countries advancing in the rankings this year. Ireland (12) and Luxemburg (11) slipped out of the top 10, dropping six and three places respectively. Germany, Finland, the UK, Iceland, Belgium, Spain and Cyprus all experienced a decline with respect to last year. With the exception of Cyprus and Spain, all countries experiencing a decline in the overall rankings show signs of a slowdown in economic performance to different degrees.

Most Latin American countries improved, with Argentina (56), Brazil (60) and Peru (54) advancing in the ranking.