The Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011 issued by the World Economic Forum ranked UAE 25th in the world for competitiveness, with the UAE being included for the second year in the third and most advanced stage of “Innovation-driven economies” which includes the highest-ranking countries, classified on the basis of their adoption of factors that promote innovation in economic development. This group includes countries such as Germany, Japan, Sweden, Australia, Canada, the United States, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Singapore, with the UAE being the only Arab country to feature in the group.
The UAE has been ranked among the top 10 countries in more than 18 indicators of competitiveness globally, and has reached an advanced position among the 139 countries assessed by the report. The UAE ranked third in the world for ‘quality of infrastructure,’ three positions ahead of its classification in last year's report, and also ranked third in ‘government provision of high-technology products.’ The UAE ranks fourth in the world with regards to ‘stability, security and its association with a positive business environment’ and ‘quality of infrastructure for air transport.’ The report also ranks the UAE sixth in the world with respect to ‘goods market efficiency’, four positions ahead of last year’s classification, and sixth in the world on the ‘quality of road infrastructure,’ advancing from seventh position in last year's report. UAE maintained the sixth position in ‘foreign direct investment’ and ‘technology transfer’ indicators. The Global Competitiveness Report issued by the World Economic Forum assesses the competitiveness of each country on the basis of certain indicators organised into 12 pillars, with each pillar representing an area considered as an important determinant of competitiveness.
The 12 pillars include: Institutions, Infrastructure, Macroeconomic stability, Health and primary education, Higher education and training, Goods market efficiency, Labour market efficiency, Financial market sophistication, Technological readiness, Market size, Business sophistication and Innovation. Commenting on the UAE ranking in the Global Competitiveness Report 2010 - 2011, Abdullah Lootah, Secretary-General of the Emirates Competitiveness Council, said, “The UAE continues its efforts to achieve sustainable development through the setting up of appropriate legislative frameworks and the provision of developed infrastructure that will further enhance the country's status as a regional and global destination for investments."
"The Emirates Competitiveness Council will review the results of the report and research indicators considered, and will involve the public and private sectors in discussions aimed at finding mechanisms to improve the functioning of the various vital sectors in the state," Lootah added. Lootah continued, "The UAE’s ability to secure an advanced ranking, regionally and globally, with respect to the quality of infrastructure, the government’s provision of high-technology products and other variables is a result of the UAE government's commitment to the development of infrastructure and building new economic sectors based on innovation.
The UAE’s advanced ranking is also considered a firm indicator of how interdependence and coordination among all sectors in the country help create a competitive environment at a global level.” According to Lootah, the report recorded relegation on some indicators, which was due to the fact that no new laws related to business and foreign investment have been issued and that the global challenges were not adequately addressed through the issuance of laws that deal directly with aspects of insolvency and bankruptcy.
“The Emirates Competitiveness Council continues its communication with government agencies and the private sector through workshops and meetings, to help coordinate efforts and discuss ways to enhance the competitiveness of the state in areas of governance, the regulatory environment for business and other areas. This will enable the UAE to achieve a global ranking that matches the country’s aspirations and its leaders' vision to become one of the world's most competitive countries,” Lootah concluded.
The Global Competitiveness Report assesses and ranks countries according to the Global Competitiveness Index. The GCI separates countries into three specific stages: factor-driven, efficiency-driven, and innovation-driven, each implying a growing degree of complexity in the operation of the economy. The first stage (factor-driven) includes a number of developing countries such as Nigeria, Chad and Zimbabwe. The transitional phase between the first and second stages includes the largest number of Arab countries, including Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar and Syria. The second phase (efficiency-driven) includes countries currently in a stage of enhancing their economic effectiveness, such as Argentina, Bulgaria, Colombia, Jordan and Lebanon. The transitional phase between the second and the third stage includes a large number of Eastern European nations who are currently seeking to follow in the footsteps of the world's most advanced countries. The third stage (innovation-driven), is the highest ranking stage and includes the world’s most advanced countries, who compete and promote innovation. The third stage includes developed countries such as Germany, Japan, Sweden, Australia, Canada, the United States, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Singapore and the UAE – the only Arab country to feature in this stage.