UAE Ranks Third Among Most Resilient Economies in 2020

Published April 29th, 2020 - 01:30 GMT
UAE Ranks Third Among Most Resilient Economies in 2020
The UAE is among the first few countries to have started easing restrictions and opening up their countries after successfully managing to rein in spread of coronavirus. (Shutterstock)
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The UAE is set to emerge among the world's most resilient economies in 2020 post-Covid-19, thanks to traditional and new sectors as well as rapid, decisive, and innovative measures taken to contain the virus, according to global institutions and analysts.

Euromonitor International's Resilience Index has rated the UAE third-resilient economy after China and Saudi Arabia, while Malaysia and India are the other two countries among the top five winners for post-Covid-19 recovery.

China achieved the highest score of 1.2 points, followed by Saudi Arabia (1.0), the UAE (0.4), Malaysia (0.4) and India (0.3). Developed countries, meanwhile, achieved negative points on the index, mainly Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and the US, scoring negative 0.8, 0.9, 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 points, respectively.

"Western economies' resilience score declined due to their limited room to maneuver and a reliance on Asia-Pacific during the crisis," Euromonitor said.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are among the first few countries to have started easing restrictions and opening up their countries after successfully managing to rein in spread of coronavirus.

The Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) praised initiatives taken by the UAE and some of other regional countries against coronavirus.

"Some Mena countries have adopted rapid, decisive and innovative measures to contain the virus, such as virtual doctors and sanitising robots in the UAE, or ramping up domestic masks production in Morocco," the OECD said in a note about the crisis response in Mena countries.

It also highlighted the financial stimulus package announced by the UAE federal government and initiatives taken by the local governments in terms of ease of doing business and reducing burden of private commercial entities, etc, which will help the country's economy to better cope with the impact of the virus.

The OECD noted that the medical system in the richer Gulf is not as much under strain as in other Mena countries.

Suresh Yezhuvath, CEO for the Middle East at Axiory Global said, the immediate focus is to help the existing companies which are severely affected by the downturn.

"The reduction in fees and moratorium in rentals and bank loans will definitely help but more liquidity needs to be injected into the system. The recent initiative of opening up certain sectors for 100 per cent FDI is a step in the right direction. The world will definitely take note of the fact how US, UK and major countries in Europe handled Covid-19. This incident shows that UAE is better placed to address these type of challenges," said Yezhuvath.

"Today, people are more worried about their safety and this will make some of them to shift their residence itself from the above-mentioned locations. So, the UAE can benefit from this by providing long-term residence visas, higher incentives for investors to open development centers, and manufacturing units. The overall cost of doing business, accommodation and schooling should be brought down, too," he added.

Arshad Khan, co-founder and CEO of Arabian Bourse, noted that medical research is very important sector, especially in the wake of what Covid-19 did to the world.

"This sector has become very important to realise its full potential by the affected economies to bounce back. In addition, a one-year delay in Expo 2020 will prove boon because the world will be looking for opportunities in post-Covid-19 period, and this mega event will offer a perfect platform for the world to tap and explore new opportunities. Therefore, a large number of foreigners will throng Dubai next year," he said.

Khan believes that it will take around six to nine months for the world to return to normalcy and create fresh business opportunities and then Dubai can tap its full potential when the world will be in fast recovery mode as well.

"Aviation will be also a huge beneficiary. During Covid-19, we heard some airlines closing operations but the UAE carriers remain shielded from such a severe impact. I believe once the recovery mode is on in post-Covid period, local airlines will have better opportunities to take business from other airlines who would be in the reduction mode," said Khan.

In addition, the UAE's fundamentals are already well in place in terms of infrastructure and easing of doing business policies, therefore, it can achieve its objectives and targets in a shorter time than other countries - thanks to a small size of the country and huge resources, he added.

Anish Mehta, chairman of the Institute Chartered Accountants of India - Dubai Chapter, said the visionary leadership of the UAE have used the adversity of Covid-19 into opportunities by developing world-class healthcare testing facilities and laboratory.

"This will help in the future to develop UAE as a reliable healthcare provider and will give fillip to medical tourism. While the huge stimulus packages will also enhance the confidence of entrepreneurs to do more business activities with ease. Moreover, 100 percent ownership in various sectors will attract more foreign investment in the country, leading to more employment opportunities," said Mehta.

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