23-25 OCTOBER 2023


UAE is the most competitive emerging market in the GCC

The country was ranked number three globally, after only India and China

The UAE is the most competitive emerging market in the GCC and came top globally for creating the best business conditions and digital readiness in a new report by Agility.

The 2022 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index ranked the country the third most competitive emerging market out of 50 globally, behind only India and China.

For business fundamentals, the UAE came top, with Saudi Arabia third, Bahrain fifth, Oman sixth, Morocco ninth, Jordan 10th and Kuwait 12th. 

In the overall index, China was top, followed by India at number two with the UAE at number three, Saudi Arabia came sixth, Qatar seventh, Oman 14th, Bahrain 15th and Kuwait 17th.

The index ranks countries for overall competitiveness based on their logistics strengths, business climates and, for the first time, their digital readiness.

The top 10 countries in digital readiness after the UAE were Malaysia, China, Saudi Arabia, India, Thailand, Qatar, Indonesia, Chile and Philippines, while Kuwait was placed 12th and Oman 15th.

Agility CEO Tarek Sultan said: “The competitiveness of emerging markets countries will be determined by their ability to develop digitally skilled businesses and talent pools and find the resolve to lower their emissions in ways that spur growth rather than sacrificing it.”

The digital readiness category of the index assesses digital skills, training, Internet access, e-commerce growth, investment climate, and ability to nurture startups, as well as sustainability factors such as renewable energy mix, lower emissions intensity, and green initiatives.

Logistics executives identified adoption of technology as the leading driver of economic and business growth for emerging markets, with the top focus areas for their companies being technology and sustainability.

Most logistics industry executives see moderate-to-strong economic growth and little or no chance of recession in 2022, even without immediate relief from the snarled supply chains and high ocean and air freight rates triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Roughly two-thirds of the 756 industry professionals surveyed believe shippers will see cargo rates come down by the end of the year, while 80 percent see port bottlenecks, air capacity shortages and trucking issues easing by year end.

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