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UAE first regionally and seventh globally, according to IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2018


Moved up from 28th position in seven years to become the seventh most Globally Competitive, outperforming Norway, Sweden and Canada.


Press Release

  • UAE First Regionally and Seventh Globally, According to IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2018

  • Mohammad Bin Rashid: Our competitiveness journey is an accelerating one, and it only makes us more determined to reach the highest ranks

  • UAE is number one globally in 23 indicators including “Government Decisions” and “International Talent”

UAE is the only country in the region to be among the top 10 in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2018


UAE maintained its leadership in the region and moved up three ranks from 2017’s position

UAE moved up 21 positions in 7 years from 2011 till 2018.


Mohammad Bin Rashid: We have the determination, we have the talent, and we have the resources. Being Number One suits our nation.


Mohammad Bin Rashid: UAE’s experience is a regional one that led to a top global rank. An experience of determination and success that is open for all the Arab nations. We will continue in enhancing our business environment, our infrastructure and our resources, because we want a better life for our people and all the residents in the UAE.


Dubai, UAE: The United Arab Emirates came in first rank regionally and seventh rank globally in global competitiveness. That is according to the latest edition of the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2018, published by the Swiss based Insatiate of Management Development (IMD) that was unveiled today. According to the report, the UAE out-performed advanced economies such as Sweden, Norway and Canada and has jumped 21 ranks between the years 2011 and 2018.


According to the report, the UAE came first globally in various indicators such as “Government Decisions”, “Public-Private Partnerships”, “Employment” and “International Talent”. The UAE also came second globally in “Business Efficiency” factor, and third globally in “Diversification of Economy”, “City Management” indicators, forth in “Energy infrastructure” and “Development and Application of Technology” indicators.


His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai stated that the UAE’s experience is a regional one that led to a top global rank. An experience of determination and success that is open for all the Arab nations. We will continue in enhancing our business environment, our infrastructure and our resources, because we want a better life for our people and all the residents in the UAE.


His Highness added that UAE’s competitiveness journey is an accelerating one, and it only makes us more determined to reach the highest ranks, stressing that we will continue in the competitiveness race and we will not settling for anything less than being number one globally. His Highness concluded by saying” We have the determination, we have the talent, and we have the resources. Being Number One suits our nation.


Emirati Leadership

The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2018 is comprised of four key factors, 20 sub factors and 340 indicators that cover all the major areas of a nations competitiveness in social, administrative, business economic topics that also include government efficiency, education and innovation. In the Economic Factor, the UAE moved from fifth globally in 2017, to third globally in 2018. It also retained its fourth global rank in the government efficiency factor.

On an indicator level, UAE held a number of advanced position in various indicators such as International Trade (1st globally), Employment (3rd globally), and International Investment (10th globally). UAE also achieved high ranks in a number of indicators such as first globally in Employment as a percentage of population, 3rd globally in Diversification of Economy, 5th globally and Export Growth and 6th globally in Youth Unemployment (lack of). The UAE also achieved number one in Quality of Air Transportation and Public-Private Partnerships. The UAE also came 2nd globally in Cyber Security, 3rd globally in Management of Cities, Maintenance and Development and 4th globally in Energy Infrastructure and Application and Development of Technology.


Government and Business Environment

In the Government Effeminacy factor, UAE maintained its 4th rank globally as well as achieved the No 1 rank globally in eight indicators, such as “Government Decisions”, “Immigration laws”, 2nd globally in “Adaptability of Government Policy” and “Lack of Bureaucracy”, 3rd in “Ease of Doing Business” and 4th globally in “Labor regulations”.


As for the Business Efficiency, UAE kept its 2nd rank globally and achieved the first rank globally in 7 of its indicators such as “Overall productivity”, “Industrial Disputes (Lack of)”, “Labor force percentage of total population”, “International Experience” and “Attitudes Towards Globalization”. UAE also came 2nd globally in “Entrepreneurship”, “Digital Transformation”, “Changing Market Conditions” and “Agility of Companies”. The UAE achieved 3rd globally in “Opportunities and Threats” and 5th globally in Use of big data and analytics.”


Commenting on this year’s performance, Her Excellency Reem bin Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State of International Corporation and Chairwoman of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, said: “Under the guidance and direction of the UAE wise leadership, which is built on the continued and sustainable investment in human development and national talent, adoption of innovation and the non-stop development and improvement for the UAE economy; UAE has proven the effectiveness of its comprehensive developmental strategy that its government entities is implementing.”


“We wish to congratulate the UAE leadership and people for this great achievement and comment the collaborative efforts of all the local and federal government entities that worked hand in hand, in support of UAE international competitiveness and the progress it made this year,” added Her Excellency.


Malik Radwan Al Madani, Director of Competitiveness Strategy Deferment at the FCSA added that “No single entity alone can enhance competitiveness performance. It is the result of a collaborative effort between all the relevant local and federal government entities, through the commitment in the constant improvement of performance, the launch of impactful programs and initiatives that aim to extend services to businesses and individuals, thus, moving the nation’s competitiveness scale and contributing to the countries journey to become one of the best countries in the world by the year 2021.”


Global Rankings

In an analysis prepared by the Competitiveness Strategy at the FCSA showed that this year’s top 10 position was highlighted by extensive movement between competing economies. Most prominently, was the United States of America taking over Hong Kong as the Number 1 most competitive country. Hong Kong moved to 2nd followed by Singapore which moved up to number 3. The Netherlands captured the 4th place moving ahead of Switzerland that moved back to 5th and Denmark to the 6th place. UAE moved up to 7th place ahead of Norway, 8th, Sweden 9th and Canada 10th.


The IMD World Competitiveness Center, a research group at IMD business school in Switzerland, has published the rankings every year since 1989. This year 63 countries are ranked.


About FCSA

The Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA), is a UAE federal government entity created by Presidential Decree No.6 of the year 2015. The authority’s mission is to strengthen and enhance UAE’s national data and competitiveness capacities. The FCSA is one of the official government sources FOR national statistics and is one of the government representatives on matters related to national competitiveness. The FCSA aims at improving the UAE ranking in the global competitiveness reports by working with stakeholders on defining and implementing reforms and polices across sectors.

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