x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

UAE a stronger competitor for businesses

The UAE has jumped three places in a ranking of the most competitive countries after improvements across several business environment criteria.

The UAE has jumped three places in a ranking of the most competitive countries after improvements across several business environment criteria.

Innovation, efficiency and other business factors were all adjudged to have been enhanced in the past year, pushing the country to 24th in this year's annual World Economic forum Global Competitiveness Index.

But the UAE still scored below Qatar, which ranked 11th, and Saudi Arabia, which was positioned 18th, in the region.

The index assesses institutions, policies and factors to determine the level of productivity across countries.

Globally, Switzerland topped the list for the fourth year in a row, ahead of Singapore, which remained in second place. Finland overtook Sweden to third, followed by the Netherlands, Germany, the US and the UK.

Helping to bolster the UAE's position was solid ratings for infrastructure, health and primary education, retail market efficiency and business sophistication.

However, other factors were deemed to be barriers to doing business. Restrictive labour regulations, access to financing and an inadequately educated workforce were all considered obstacles.

The index shows that Switzerland and other countries in northern Europe have been consolidating their competitiveness positions since the global downturn in 2008.

tarnold@thenational.ae