Reliable infrastructure, a business-friendly environment and a dynamic economy are the key attractiveness indicators that have helped the UAE climb 12 places to 16 in the 2012 World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) rankings. The WCY rankings measure how well countries manage their economies and human resources to increase their prosperity. The survey is conducted by IMD, a global business school based in Switzerland. The most competitive of the 59 ranked economies in 2012 was Hong Kong, followed by the US and Switzerland. But the UAE was the biggest climber, jumping from the 28th position in 2011 to the 16th this year. Dr Hischam El Agamy, Executive Director, IMD, said a fertile environment for business made a big difference over the past 12 months. “This result, in my opinion, is down to the alignment of government and business. Businesses in the UAE have made the most of policies and framework provided by the government. We’ve looked into this data several times and there are no mistakes. The government did a great job creating the framework for businesses to grow,” said El Agamy, who is responsible for IMD’s activities in south-east Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Africa and South-east Asia. In the IMD survey of more than 4,200 international executives, respondents were asked to select five key attractiveness indicators of each country’s economy from a list of 15. The most popular response for the UAE was reliable infrastructure (61.9 per cent) followed by business-friendly environment (58.3), dynamism of the economy (51.2), open and positive attitudes (46.4) and competency of government (39.3). Looking towards the next 12 months, El Agamy believes the UAE is in a position to weather the economic storm originating from Europe. He cites the UAE’s key attractiveness indicators as reasons why the economy could continue to grow. “We’re all on the same planet, but some countries have more opportunity for growth than others,” said El Agamy. “The Middle East is a prosperous region but a lot depends on what happens in other parts of the world. There is still a lot to be done in some countries, but the UAE can counter balance between Europe and Asia. It is attracting investors from the right places; Asia sees the UAE as a great hub.” The IBD World Competitiveness Yearbook has been published since 1989 and is recognised as one of the leading annual reports on the competitiveness of nations.