Recognizing the rapid strides made by the UAE economy in recent years, a recently released annual report places it ahead of China as the third-strongest Asian economy.
By achieving greater competitiveness in the economy, the UAE’s economy has surpassed China to become an Asian economic powerhouse. The results of the Asian Competitiveness Annual Report 2013 by Boao Forum for Asia are based on a full-year study by the think tank, which assessed the structural strength of 37 Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
Last year, the same survey ranked UAE as the 7th strongest Asian economy. The emirate further improved its position in the latest edition to beat other major countries like China, South Korea, Taiwan and Qatar. The Gulf region was able to show impressive performance as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait surpassed the ASEAN emerging economies.
The UAE was able to achieve a higher ranking because of strong economic development, conducive investment environment, combined with a low inflation and unemployment rate. Further, the country had a government debt-to-GDP ratio of 16.9 percent and national savings stood at over 30 percent. Compared to other nations, the emirate offered “a stable industrial structure and low risk financial environment” despite a moderate 5.2 percent economic growth rate.
Bahrain (7th), Oman (10th), Kuwait (12th), Saudi Arabia (13th) and Qatar (14th) were likewise notable, resource rich Middle Eastern economies on the list. Ranked at 24th, Jordan was the only major disappointment of the Middle East region.
In terms of competitiveness, the UAE was ranked at 6th among 37 Asian countries. It was able to achieve a higher ranking compared to China, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey and other countries. The competitiveness chart was dominated by “East Asian Tigers”, namely Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea and Australia.
In the Commercial and Administrative Efficiency Indicator, the UAE was ranked 27th, while in Development of Infrastructure it dropped three places to 8th position. The UAE also secured 17th position in the sub-index of Human Capital and Innovation Capability.