The UAE is the best in the Arab world at enabling trade, according to a new report released by the World Economic Forum.
It was ranked 19th globally in the Global Enabling Trade Report 2012, down three places compared to the last report two years ago.
But it retained its position as the best GCC country, ahead of Oman which was placed 25th.
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 Enabling Trade Index assessed four key areas of performance - Market Access, Border Administration, Transport and Telecommunications Infrastructure and the Business Environment.
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the UAE's Minister for Foreign Trade, said: "The Global Enabling Trade Report 2012 highlights the UAE's excellent trade infrastructure and its resilience in the face of a global economic downturn.
"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."
Globally, East Asian economies recorded marked improvements in their ability to enable trade, while traditional frontrunners 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.