The UAE has been ranked first regionally and 11th globally in terms of the availability and quality of transport infrastructure in the Global Enabling Trade Report 2012 released by the World Economic Forum (WEF). With this ranking the UAE outperforms countries such as the US, Finland and Belgium. Shaikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Public Works, said the UAE’s generous and carefully planned spending on infrastructure projects has resulted in advancing its global ranking in WEF’s Global Enabling Trade Report 2012. Today we see the fruits of this approach.” “Upon directives from the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Ministry of Public Works continues to build road networks connecting the country’s cities to further boost the economy. Public spending on infrastructure by the UAE is the highest regionally. The availability and quality of infrastructure in the UAE contributes to the national economy and furthers our commitment to development in the country,” he added. The UAE came among the 17 economies that have 100 per cent of their road network paved. It also globally ranked fourth in terms of the quality of air transport infrastructure, sixth in terms of the quality of seaport infrastructure and seventh in transshipment connectivity. The WEF report highlights other strong areas of performance reflecting the UAE’s on-going commitment to trade, including, Border Administration (11th globally), Transport and Communications Infrastructure (18th globally), and Business Environment (12th internationally). The UAE tops the region in all these areas. The Enabling Trade Index, published within the framework of the Global Competitiveness Network and the Supply Chain and Transportation Industry Partnership, was developed in consultation with key industry leaders, academics and international organisations in the trade arena measures the extent to which economies have developed institutions, policies and services facilitating the free flow of goods over borders and to destinations. It assesses four key areas of performance, namely market access, border administration, transport and telecommunications infrastructure and the business environment, and sub-indices within these broad areas. The index provides a yardstick of countries’ performance in creating enabling trade environments and pin-pointing where improvements are most needed.