The World Economic Forum praised the UAE as the Arab world leader at enabling trade and ranked the country 19 in its Global Enabling Trade Report 2012 list.
The Enabling Trade Index was developed by the WEF in consultation with key industry leaders, academics and international organisations in the trade arena and measures the extent to which economies have developed institutions, policies and services facilitating the free flow of goods over borders and to destinations.
The Enabling Trade Index assesses four key areas of performance – Market Access, Border Administration, Transport and Telecommunications Infrastructure and the Business Environment.
Saudi Arabia was the region’s big mover, climbing 13 places up to 27th while Bahrain was ranked 30th, Qatar 32nd and Kuwait 66th.
“The Global Enabling Trade Report 2012 highlights the UAE’s excellent trade infrastructure and its resilience in the face of a global economic downturn,” Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the UAE’s Minister for Foreign Trade, said.
“Our performance is significant in a world of rising global interdependence and growing international trade.
“The UAE has created competitive advantage in trade through targeted policies, infrastructure investment and innovation in improving the efficiency of its trade process,” she added.
Globally, the report noted that East Asian economies recorded marked improvements in their ability to enable trade, while traditional frontrunners like Singapore and Hong Kong retained a clear lead at the top of the rankings.
The report, which is published every two years, also confirmed strong showings for Europe’s major economies, with Finland and the United Kingdom both advancing six places to 6th and 11th, respectively, and Germany and France remaining stable at 13th and 20th.
The US continued its decline to 23rd, as did China (56th) and India (100th).
“The adoption of policies that enable trade will become increasingly important, not only for enhancing development in individual countries but also for generating prosperity in their trading partners,” said Robert Z Lawrence, Albert L Williams Professor of Trade and Investment at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
The report, covering 132 economies worldwide, measures the abilities of economies to enable trade and highlights areas where improvements are most needed.