Representatives of the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have announced the state has been named the top performer in 11 key measures of global competitiveness. This success is spread across a range of reports and holds weight from international bodies such as the World Economic Forum, the World Bank, and specialist management development institutes.
The UAE ranked first in the international forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, for efficiency of government spending, steady inflation and business-friendly tax procedures. The nation also topped lists for ease of paying taxes and ease of doing business. The newly-released Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 also rated the country as the premier performer in managing the balance between taxation and incentives to invest, and low tax rate to profit comparatives.
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the country's Minister of Finance noted this success was the result of wise direction from the country’s leadership. In particular, the government had been working on strong policies that will strengthen the nation's systems and structures to ensure prosperity. These moves are part of the Ministry’s ‘Project Number One’ policy drive to develop and improve the country’s competitiveness levels around the world.
Sheikh Hamdan explained the Ministry had established a culture of excellence where teams at all levels were working together for the good of the nation. All government staff had come together to collaborate and support the Government’s efforts to prepare the economy for the post-oil phase, he said. This was important for establishing a knowledge-based economy that would be sustainable for future generations, he explained.
The hard work is paying off. The UAE also ranked first in the measure of how many say it is to pay taxes, according to the Global Innovation Index compiled by experts at the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD). Additionally, the UAE authorities were rated top for managing the extent and impact of taxation on enterprise within the Global Talent Competitiveness Index by the same researchers. Meanwhile, the World Competitiveness Yearbook produced annually by the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD) put the country first in collecting both personal and indirect tax collection. The report also gives UAE supremacy on consumption tax rates.
The government’s announcement follows a period of work between the Ministry of Finance and the country’s Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority. This involved identifying indices that were suitable for the Ministry’s attention, then putting measures in place to be the top performer in competitiveness in that measure in 2017.
The push for success is part of the larger plan to achieve the UAE Vision 2021. This would place UAE as one of the greatest countries of the world ahead of the upcoming Golden Jubilee of the Union. As the Ministry representative further added, his department had been focusing on organised and directed action, quality data, and well-constructed economic forecasts that would guide financial and monetary policies.