UAE leads region in market accessibility, connectivity

UAE leads region in market accessibility, connectivity

By Waheed Abbas

Published: Mon 22 Jan 2018, 8:26 PM

Last updated: Mon 22 Jan 2018, 10:32 PM

The UAE has been ranked first in the Middle East and third globally, after China and India, in terms of market accessibility, ease of doing business and connectivity, according to a newly-released report.
In addition to its top ranking for quality of infrastructure, the UAE is also a leading investment destination for the logistics industry, according to Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index 2018.
When it comes to business conditions, the UAE, Oman and Bahrain outclassed all other countries in the 50-nation Index. Saudi Arabia is No. 8 and Kuwait is No. 16.
In terms of quality of infrastructure and transport connections, the UAE is followed by Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia in the region. 
The UAE and other Gulf countries once again set the standard for emerging markets infrastructure development and overall business climate, the report said.
"The UAE maintains its high ranking across several indices with its abundance of free trade zones, no corporation tax, the offer of full ownership and unlimited repatriation of profits still setting the benchmark for emerging markets.
"The capital Abu Dhabi has several high-profile infrastructure projects coming online, and we are accommodating that growth through our expanding business. The countries in the region are moving aggressively to spur non-energy economic growth, create jobs, lure new investment, and develop knowledge economies," said Elias Monem, CEO of Agility Middle East and Africa.
On January 20, Dubai Logistics Corridor was opened, linking Jafza North and Jafza South to facilitate smooth flow of traffic between Jebel Ali Port, free zone and Al Maktoum Airport.
The Index is a broad gauge of economic competitiveness that includes a survey of more than 500 logistics industry professionals and a data-driven analysis of 50 emerging markets countries by size, economic strength, infrastructure, transport connections and business climate. Egypt is the standout of the 2018 Index, vaulting six countries to No. 14 in the rankings, the largest jump of any emerging market.
John Manners-Bell, Chief Executive of Ti, says: "Emerging markets enjoyed favourable market conditions in 2017 with trade growth the healthiest in years. However, there are many storylines yet to fully unfold, such as China's debt, the renegotiation of NAFTA and ongoing political and economic transition in the Middle East. While the going looks good for now, there are numerous challenges on the horizon."
Mustapha Kawam, President and CEO of Globe Express Services, said the UAE is one of the most futuristic countries in the world, with its world class facilities, advanced infrastructure and farsightedness. 
"Burgeoning investments in the sector has enabled it to have one of the best infrastructure facilities in the world, which has contributed significantly both to its current position as one of the international trade hubs, and its attractiveness as a potential business destination," Kawam said.
The UAE, with its network of industrial areas, business parks, highly specialised free zones of international distinction, state-of-the-art telecommunication systems, world-class seaports, a major international airport and cargo village, and a modern highway network, is the most advanced and developed business hub in the region, Kawam added.
"Being home to world class facilities that have supported economic growth and enabled the development of business and an excellent macroeconomic environment, the UAE is poised to maintain its position in the immediate future and beyond," he concluded.

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