The United Arab Emirates has ranked 12thglobally – and first in the MENA region - in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2015in a report issued by the International Institute for Management Development.
The UAE competed – and took the lead - among 60 other countries in three pillars: government efficiency, business efficiency, infrastructure and economic performance.
The report shows that the UAE came in the top three for a number of areas of the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2015 for Government Efficiency including: first place in ‘Public Finance Policies'; second place in ‘Quality of Government Decisions', and; second place in ‘Adaptability of Government Policy'.
As for the Business Efficiency component, the UAE ranked first in the ‘Need for economic and social reforms'' and second in the ‘Attitudes toward globalisation', which monitors UAE organisations and institutions activities on a global scale.
Under the Infrastructure and Economic Performance components, the UAE retained the first position in the ‘Quality of air transportation' for the second year in a row and achieved fifth place in the ‘Diversification of the economy' -two ranks compared to 2014. In addition, the UAE advanced two places globally to second in terms of its image abroad as one of the best countries in the field of purposeful business.
The results achieved for the UAE in the Global Competitiveness Report are driven by the Ministry of Finance's (MoF) commitment to the directives of the UAE's wise leadership, achieving its vision of the general federal budget as well as its direction towards developing the health, education and social sectors across the country. The 2015 general budget was close to Dh49.1 billion - 49% of which were allocated to social and development projects. This has all contributed to the UAE taking the global lead and coming in first in the ‘Need for economic and social reforms'.
Commenting on this national achievement, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs said, "The UAE continues to demonstrate its global competitive capabilities in various economic and social fields, following the directives of the UAE's wise leadership and the strategic vision aimed at strengthening the country's position to become one of the best places in the world to do business by 2021."
Al Tayer added, "We believe that people contribute to change and development; this achievement would not have been possible without the commitment of our staff which is why the Ministry invested in human capabilities across areas such as operations, financial regulations and legislation. At the same time, the Ministry is committed to strengthening the nation's investment attractiveness and the overall business environment and so shall continue to work closely alongside local federal entities and the private sector."
Younis Haji Al Khoori, Undersecretary of MoF and Chairman of the Government Financial Policy Coordination Council said, "The Ministry conducted several studies that have proven the importance of establishing a joint working group between MoF and local financial entities in meeting the requirements of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in government finance statistics and linking local systems to the federal system. The Council's continuous efforts led to a number of successes that have all played a key role in strengthening the UAE's overall competitive position in government financial fields."
Al Khoori highlighted the projects adopted by the Ministry that have supported the UAE's ability to achieve leading results in various global competitiveness reports. These include projects on the consolidation of financial data on a local level, developing the Emirates Gate of GFS reports, the plan to shift to GFS 2014 as well as the consolidation of the fiscal policy on a local level.
Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Assistant Undersecretary of International Financial Relations at MoF, stressed the Ministry's commitment to develop its relations with various global organisations and financial institutions to adopt international best practice to align them with the policies of the UAE. He also said that MoF is keen to acquaint its international partners to the UAE's successes and its expertise in the financial field.
The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook measures how well countries manage all their resources and competencies to facilitate long-term value creation. The overall ranking released in 2015 reflects more than 300 criteria, approximately two-thirds of which are based on statistical indicators and one-third on an exclusive IMD survey of over 6,000 international executives.