The UAE continues to lead the Arab region and is ranked 19th globally in the Global Enabling Trade Report 2012 released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
It also figures among the top 10 nations in Efficiency of Import-Export Procedures as well as Physical Security in the report covering 132 countries.
The Enabling Trade Index developed in consultation with key industry leaders, academics and international organizations in the trade arena measures the extent to which economies have developed institutions, policies and services facilitating the free flow of goods over borders and to destinations. It assesses four key areas of performance, namely Market Access, Border Administration, Transport and Telecommunications Infrastructure and the Business Environment, and sub-indices within these broad areas.
The index provides a yardstick of countries' performance in creating enabling trade environments and pin-pointing where improvements are most needed.
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the 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.
"Trade has historically been a key economic driver of the UAE and that the country will continue to adopt policies and measures aimed at enhancing trade in the region and around the world as a source of prosperity and growth, and towards reaching the country's Vision 2021 to become among the world's most competitive nations," she said.
Sheikha Lubna said the UAE's role in the global trading system does not reflect positively on the domestic economy alone, but also is a key driver in the global economy and positively influences global trade. The UAE is ranked fourth among the re-exporting countries, which indicates its pivotal role in linking the world's economies through its contribution to the free movement of global trade. Sheikha Lubna expressed appreciation for the UAE's customs outlets and port authorities for their contribution to the development and facilitation of trade.
The WEF report highlights other strong areas of performance reflecting the UAE's on-going commitment to trade, including, Border Administration (11th globally), Transport and Communications Infrastructure (18th globally), and Business Environment (12th internationally). The UAE tops the region in all these areas.
Within the report's sub-indices, the UAE is ranked as follows: seventh in the world in terms of Efficiency of Import-Export Procedures in Border Administration; fifth in Physical Security in Business Environment category; and 26th in Availability and Use of ICT (Information and Communication Technology), all of which are leading positions in the region. The Emirates also placed 16th in Regulatory Environment among all the countries covered in the report.
The Global Enabling Trade Report was first published in 2008 by the World Economic Forum.
The World Trade Organization and many of its Member States that participated in the meetings of the second review of the trade policy of the UAE in Geneva last March have praised the UAE's policy of opening up its trade and economy. The WTO commends the country's efforts to facilitate trade and investment and minimize trade barriers such as customs procedures, fees and taxes. The latter has made the UAE a global center for various industrial and services sectors, bolstering the country's status in world trade.
Furthermore, the ideal environment provided by the UAE government for foreign direct investments - characterized by the ease of establishing projects and businesses and the and lack of taxation - have contributed significantly to the emergence of the UAE as an important global trade hub.