Topped across business fundamentals, domestic & international logistics in the region.
The United Arab Emirates ranks No. 1 overall as the most competitive emerging markets in GCC, according to the annual Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index.
The UAE also topped all three individual sub-indices in the region. This reflects the UAE’s commitment to strengthening its business environment in the non-oil sectors and successful implementation of the comprehensive national SME development strategy.
The Index, now in its 12th year, ranks 50 countries by factors that make them attractive to logistics providers, freight forwarders, shipping lines, air cargo carriers and distributors. China, India and Indonesia topped the Index, while three Gulf countries made the top 10: UAE (4), Saudi Arabia (6) and Qatar (9).
In the area of business fundamentals, Gulf countries dominated the top spots. UAE was No. 1, followed by Saudi Arabia (3), Qatar (4), Bahrain (7), Oman (8) and Kuwait (11). Nearby Jordan was 10th. China, India and Indonesia rank highest for domestic logistics; China, India and Mexico are at the top for international logistics.
“Gulf countries are pushing hard to diversify and integrate their economies by developing world-class infrastructure and creating fair, transparent conditions for business,” says Elias Monem, Agility Global Integrated Logistics (GIL) CEO for Middle East & Africa. “Good infrastructure and stable business conditions are areas of huge competitive advantage for the Gulf region. They will be key to recovering from the economic downturn brought on by the pandemic.”
The regional Gulf economy could get a boost as a result of the diplomatic breakthrough that ended Saudi Arabia’s three-year economic blockade of neighboring Qatar in late 2020. That could lead to tighter integration in a region where cross-border trade, trucking and e-commerce are growing dramatically.
Along with the Index, Agility surveyed more than 1,200 supply chain professionals for their views on the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the executives surveyed, 44.7% see a Middle East/North Africa recovery in 2021; 38.9% say a recovery for the region won’t take place until 2022-2024. A majority expect Asia, North America and Europe to rebound this year.