Even though many regions of the Middle East and North Africa continue to be affected by geopolitical conflict and turbulence, there are economies coming from that area that are slowly stabilizing and are starting to improve their business environment, trying to restore investors’ confidence.
Thus, according to the latest edition of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2014-15, among 144 Countries the UAE places at 12th position as the top-performing economy in the Arab world.
Global competitiveness report: the reason of its success
The Country’s successful bid for Expo 2020 and its strong drive towards reforms have anchored many initiatives to enhance competitiveness. In addition, the UAE’s institutional framework, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability have all undergone an improvement. The Country has a highly efficient goods markets, strong macroeconomic environment, deep public trust in politicians and high government efficiency.
Global competitiveness report: the real challenge is a never-ending road
Occupying the first positions in the Arab world is an achievement in itself, but the UAE is now jostling for a higher position comparing itself with stable economies such as the UK, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. This challenge, shows its willing to become more and more worldwide competitive. Additionally, the UAE are famous for crime absence and for both public trust in politicians and regulatory burdens lack. These achievements are the result of leadership by the government and are, as Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said “a tribute to federal and local teams working as one for the country’s progress”. It ought to be noted that progress is a never-ending road.
Global competitiveness report: education must play a primary role
Having a decent primary education system is the foundation of creating a knowledge-based economy and should not be neglected amid the increasing focus on higher education One major shortfall is the take-up of primary education, where the UAE is ranked 98th, even though the country performed strongly in the higher education sector, ranking seventh.
Global competitiveness report: where to focus the efforts
Another area where to focus the attention is the health care system, demonstrated by the low rankings in life expectancy (41st) and infant mortality (44th). The UAE needs to make more efforts to develop its medical services and increase awareness among people about health issues – one of the reasons The National has launched its Healthy Living campaign. For those wishing to set up businesses in this Country, a simplified regulation of the labour market and easier access to financial banking will help to attract more entrepreneurs.
Global competitiveness report: a long path to be on the edge
While much pride can be taken from such a strong overall showing, the country must continue to work hard to climb further up the overall league table and to maintain its position as the leading country in the region. At the same time, the annual study of 144 economies shows some small, energy-rich economies continuing to build on their resource-driven wealth to undertake structural reforms that will help drive private-sector employment.