UAE remains ‘most competitive’ economy in Arab region – WEF report

The UAE has moved up the rankings by two spots and ranks 25th worldwide



The UAE has been ranked as the Arab region’s most competitive economy for the fourth consecutive year, according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2019, published by the World Economic Forum.

Globally, the UAE ranks 25th, having improved by two points compared to last year.

The UAE witnessed an improvement in 52 out of 103 indicators calculated in the report. The country also ranked among the top five performing economies in 19 indicators, and among the top 20 worldwide in 57 indicators.

Regionally, the report found that most of the Arab countries witnessed an improvement in ranking except for Oman, Lebanon and Yemen.

The UAE (25th) was followed by Qatar (29th) and Saudi Arabia (36th). Kuwait saw the most improvements in the region (46th, up eight).

The report also found that while most regional countries have improved “significantly” on ICT adoption and many countries have built sound infrastructure, greater investments in human capital are needed to transform them into more innovative and creative economies.

Overall, the report found that the global economy remains locked in a cycle of low or flat productivity growth despite the injection of more than $10 trillion by central banks since the global financial crisis a decade ago.

“While these unprecedented measures were successful in averting a deeper recession, they are not enough on their own to catalyse the allocation of resources towards productivity-enhancing investments in the private and public sectors,” it said.

“As monetary policies begin to run out of steam, it is crucial for economies to boost research and development, enhance the skills base of the current and future workforce, develop new infrastructure and integrate new technologies, among other measures,” it added.

Overall, the most competitive economies were found to be Singapore, followed by the US, Hong Kong, Netherlands and Switzerland.

“The report shows that those countries which integrate into their economic policies an emphasis on infrastructure, skills, research and development and support those left behind are more successful compared to those that focus only on traditional factors of growth,” said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

The report assesses the competitiveness landscape of 141 economies through 103 indicators organised into 12 pillars including institutions, infrastructure, ICT adoption, macroeconomic stability, health, skills, product and labour markets and financial system, among others.