COVID-19: UAE proves its mettle again

The UAE’s consistent climb in various global competitiveness indices in recent years doesn’t come as a surprise to those closely following the country’s march towards excellence.

The UAE is ranked overall ninth in Switzerland-based IMD’s 2021 global competitiveness ranking and remains at the top in the Arab region.

This year’s IMD ranking is indeed a source of pride for the UAE, especially in the context that the nation has surpassed many large global economies such as the US, China, Canada, Germany, and the UK.

Development indicators

While the UAE has emerged top globally in 20 development indicators, its top ranking in the government’s ability to adapt to changes despite the COVID-19 pandemic stands out as a testimony to the determination of the nation and its leadership to excel even in the face of a major global crisis.

The broader policy response to the pandemic in terms of economic support, policy reforms and healthcare measures have demonstrated the UAE’s capacity to respond to shocks quickly and efficiently.

Clearly, the health crisis that came with adverse socio-economic consequences did not deter the nation from its focused pursuit of global distinction. The result is apparent in top rankings in various development parameters.

For instance, the UAE was ranked first in the labour market and attitudes and values, third in public finance and tax policy, fourth in international trade; and fifth in business legislation.

Socio-economic development rankings

The UAE has been on a steady rise in various global socio-economic development rankings in recent years. In the latest Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum, the country is ranked 25th globally, improving by 2 positions from the previous year’s report and leads Arab region.

The country has been pursuing a strategy to improve and develop performance in all competitiveness indicators. The approach is rooted in open economic policies, modernisiation and updating of legislations and streamlining of procedures as well as the adoption of innovation to move up on the scale of global competitiveness.

The latest legislative reform to give full foreign ownership of companies along with host of reforms aimed at relaxation in visa rules, rationalization of government fees and incentives to small and medium enterprises are examples of government’s agility in formulating and adapting policies to suit the changing economic environment.

Clearly, the efforts and the improvements are well-captured in the latest IMD competitiveness ranking.

The reforms aimed at improving the ease of doing business in the country, attracting foreign investors, creating jobs and diversifying its economy away from oil are certain to help UAE make quantum leap in future global competitiveness rankings.

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