UAE ranks first among Arab nations in innovation

Issac John /dubai Filed on August 16, 2016
UAE ranks first among Arab nations in innovation
Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said the ranking adds to the UAE's impressive track record of comprehensive development over the years.

(KT file)

The UAE ranks 41st worldwide on the index, up from 47th in 2015

The UAE showed a significant improvement in its innovation standing on the 2016 Global Innovation Index, which was officially launched on Monday at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

The UAE ranked first among Arab countries and 41st worldwide in terms of overall performance on the index, up from second in the Arab world and 47th globally in 2015.

This year's Global Innovation Index measured the performance of 128 countries and economies in the area of innovation, which represents the majority of the global workforce and global GDP. The 2016 index is based on 82 sub-indices, which measure innovation in detail and provide a clear understanding of how it drives economic growth and prosperity.

The index results attributed the outstanding progress made by the UAE this year to its sustainable achievements in innovation inputs, especially the strengthening of institutions and market sophistication. The UAE has one of the best political and legislative environments in the world along with outstanding development in information technology, communications, infrastructure and innovation linkages.

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said the remarkable progress made by the UAE on the 2016 Global Innovation Index in leading Arab countries and elevating its global ranking adds to its impressive track record of comprehensive development over the years.

The minister said innovation is a major pillar in advancing the state's economic development and is at the heart of good government policies aimed at making the UAE among the top 10 countries in the world on the Global Innovation Index by the Golden Jubilee of the Union, in line with UAE Vision 2021.

Al Mansouri emphasised that the outcome of the latest Global Innovation Index is consistent with the innovation-related trends and efforts exerted by the state, particularly over the past few years.

Innovation has become an integral part of the successful performance and competitiveness of the UAE, in terms of both public and private sector activities. He added that these efforts culminated in the launching of the National Strategy for Innovation in 2014 which was followed by the declaration of 2015 as 'The Year of Innovation' in the UAE.

The Global Innovation Index 2016 sub-indices showed that the country ranked first globally in the cost of redundancy dismissal, ease of paying taxes, tertiary inbound mobility and state of cluster development.

Progress in innovation inputs also included a significant improvement in market sophistication thanks to growth in investment and credit. Investments have gone up from a rank of 105 to 55 thanks to market capitalisation that increased from a rank of 73 to 32 as well as total value of stock traded that has gone up from a rank of 51 to 20 and VC deals that went up from 48 to 34.  

In the business sophistication indices, the R&D performed by business rose from 0.1 per cent of GDP to 0.5 per cent, while the R&D financed by business is ranked fourth in the world.

The report said one of the main contributors to the overall progress made by the UAE on the Global Innovation Index this year is the robust improvement in the outputs sub-index across a number of sectors.

Knowledge and technology outputs went up from 134 to 86. This dimension includes knowledge diffusion that has increased from 137 to 53, thanks among others to significant changes in FDI net outflows.

Across the creativity outputs index, the country achieved a rise in the number of trademark registration applications at the national level from 9.3 to 11.3 per billion USD GDP.



Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.

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