UAE a Business Destination

UAE a Business Destination

The United Arab Emirates has been ranked 1st in the world in terms of being different and distinctive and 10th in the world in the way it projects its power on the global stage. The accolade is given in the 2018 Best Countries rankings, covering 80 countries and published by the newspaper US News and World Report. The rankings assess the results of a study and model devised in collaboration with the BAV Group of global communications company Y & R and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The UAE is also ranked 23rd in the ‘Best Countries Overall ‘category, the only Arab country to appear in the top 30.

The Movers category assesses a country in terms of it being “different, distinctive, dynamic, unique.” In other subsidiary rankings, the UAE was ranked 17th for Cultural Influence, covering “culturally significant in terms of entertainment, fashionable, happy, has an influential culture, modern, prestigious, trendy”, and 23rd for Entrepreneurship, covering “connected to the rest of the world, educated population, entrepreneurial, innovative, provides easy access to capital, skilled labor force, technological expertise, transparent business.”

For Quality of Life, covering “a good job market, affordable, economically stable, family friendly, income equality, politically stable, safe, well-developed public education system, well-developed public health system,” it was ranked 25th.

All of the 80 countries included in the rankings had to meet four criteria within the last two years for which data are available specific to each benchmark to be included in the study. The criteria are that the countries should be included among the top 100 countries in terms of gross domestic product in 2015 or 2014, based on World Bank data, the top 150 countries in the UN’s Human Development Index, based on the 2015 or 2014 report, the top 100 countries in terms of foreign direct investment inflows in 2014 or 2013, based on United Nations data, and the top 100 countries in terms of international tourism receipts in 2014 or international tourism arrivals in 2013, based on World Bank data.

Collectively, the 80 countries account for about 95 percent of global gross domestic product and represent more than 80 percent of the world’s population. They span the globe, covering Africa, Asia, Central America, Eurasia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, Oceania and South America.

The 2018 Best Countries report and rankings are based on how global perceptions define countries in terms of a number of qualitative characteristics, impressions that have the potential to drive trade, travel and investment and directly affect national economies.

A set of 65 country attributes – terms that can be used to describe a country and that are also relevant to the success of a modern nation – were identified. Attributes by nation were presented in a survey of more than 21,000 people from across the globe. Participants assessed how closely they associated an attribute with a nation.

A total of 21,117 individuals from 36 countries in four regions – the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East and Africa – were surveyed. Of the respondents, 12,114 were informed elites and 6,016 were business decision-makers. Some respondents were considered both informed elites and business decision-makers.

Selected participants were then invited to complete an online survey through Lightspeed GMI, a global market research and data collection firm.

Each country was scored on each of the 65 country attributes based on a collection of individual survey responses. The more a country was perceived to exemplify a certain characteristic in relation to the average, the higher that country’s attribute score and vice versa. These scores were normalised to account for outliers and transformed into a scale that could be compared across the board.

Attributes were grouped into nine sub-rankings that rolled into the Best Countries ranking: Adventure, allocated 3.24 percent of the total score, Citizenship (16.95 percent), Cultural Influence (12.93 percent), Entrepreneurship (17.42 percent), Heritage (3.17 percent), Movers (10 percent), Open for Business (11.99 percent), Power (7.42 percent) and Quality of Life (16.89 percent)..

These thematic sub-rankings were formed by grouping country attributes that had similar global trends in survey responses. Sub-ranking scores for each country were determined by averaging the scores that country received in each of the attributes comprising that sub-ranking.

The UAE has been named the 13th Most Promising Home Economy for Investment in 2017-19 according to a survey conducted by the United Nations Council for Trade and Development, UNCTAD, and Investment Promotion Agency, IPA, Observer.

The ranking, published in the UNCTAD’s recently released annual World Investment Report, WIR 2017, reflects the UAE’s liberal and investment-friendly business policies as the country also moves up in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking for 2018 to 21.

The UAE International Investors’ Council, UAEIIC, a semi-government investment institution with an objective to promote two-way investment, has announced its partnership – as Official Investment Partner – with the Annual Investment Meeting, AIM, to be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from April 9th-11th, 2018, that is expected to boost the US$1.85 trillion global FDI flow expected in 2018. AIM will be held under the theme, ‘Linking Developed and Emerging Markets through FDI: Partnerships for Inclusive Growth & Sustainable Development’.

The decision comes as the UAE prepares to liberalise its foreign investment laws allowing greater foreign ownership in local companies in key sectors – that will help a greater inflow of investment in to the UAE – a major foreign investment destination.

AIM, the largest annual gathering of government ministers, trade bodies, chambers of commerce and industries, investment authorities as well as private investor groups, will see a flurry of activities including investment policy reforms, ease in doing business to allow greater flow of capital and goods movement across the region.

Welcoming the UAEIIC as the Official Investment Partner of Annual Investment Meeting, Mr Dawood Shezawi, President of AIM, says, “Our partnership with UAEIIC will help boost two-way investment into the UAE and outward investment from the UAE – and help us play our role as a promoter of investment flow for development.

“Over the last few years,AIM has created a global platform for international and local investors to promote opportunities for investors to identify the right investment projects and help create employment in different parts of the world. As the Official Investment Partner, the UAEIIC will play a great role in promoting investment.”

According to the World Investment Report 2017, global investment flow declined 2 per cent to US$1.75 trillion in 2016.

“Flows to developing economies reached $646 billion in 2016, UNCTAD report shows.

“The flow of outward investment from developing economies registered a 1 per cent decline to $383 billion, despite a surge of outflows from China, now the second largest investing country in the world,” said the World Investment Report 2017.

“A modest recovery in global FDI flows is forecast for 2017, although flows are expected to remain well below their peak of 2007. A combined upturn of economic growth in major regions and improved corporate profits will boost business confidence, and consequently MNEs’ appetite to invest,” said the World Investment Report 2017.

“A cyclical uptick in manufacturing and trade is expected to result in faster growth in developed countries, while a likely strengthening of commodity prices should underpin a recovery in developing economies in 2017. As a result, global FDI flows are expected to increase by about 5 per cent in 2017 to almost $1.8 trillion.”

In this regard, the UAEIIC has decided to strengthen its engagement in trade and investment promotional activities to boost two-way investment.

The UAEIIC takes firm steps to be the voice of the UAE to invest abroad, as it represents a national umbrella of great importance for the development of national investments issued in view of its role in communication and coordination with government agencies to support, protect, promote and expand the interests and objectives of UAE investors abroad and in the interest of the national economy, according to Jamal Al Jarwan, Secretary-General of the UAEIIC.

“The current global economic situation offers a greater opportunity for international investors when asset prices become very attractive making acquisition less costly and help investors attain a higher and faster return on investment,” Jamal Al Jarwan said.

“In this regard, we find AIM a perfect fit to attract investment and promote economic opportunities prevalent in the GCC region for global investors, while at the same time, helping UAE investors to find the right investment projects in different countries and help the emirati investors to benefit from the opportunities.

“AIM is a real opportunity to highlight the role of the council with foreign officials and non-members investors to discuss the experience of the council in previous years. The UAEIIC pays special attention to building and expanding the network of international strategic partnerships.

“Our participation in AIM is in line with the goals of the UAEIIC in exploring investment opportunities around the world and closely monitor the investment climate to achieve sustainable development for our foreign investments,” he says.

In a span of three days, an array of activities are staged including a Conference, Exhibition, Capacity Building Workshops, Country Presentations, Investors’ Hub, Gala Dinner, Investment Awards, various G2G, G2B and B2B Networking Features, AIM Startup Innovation Showcase and Pitch Competition.

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Shayne Heffernan Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.

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