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UAE among top 25 competitive economies: Report

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UAE remains most competitive Arab economy for the 4th consecutive year

The UAE has climbed two positions in the Global Competitiveness 2019 report to join the top 25 club and maintained its status as most competitive economy in the Arab world for the 4th consecutive year.

The UAE performance witnessed an improvement in 52 out of 103 indicators organized into 12 pillars, calculated in the report launched by the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.

Additionally, the country ranked among the top five performing economies in 19 indicators, and among the top 20 worldwide in 57 indicators, i.e., more than half of the indicators included in the report this year.

The UAE, which secured 25th position out of 141 countries included in the ranking, led the regional ranking, followed by Qatar (29th) and Saudi Arabia (36th).

Kuwait has improved the most in the region (46th, up eight ranks) while Lebanon, Oman and Yemen lost some ground, according to the report.

Overall, the Arab world has caught up significantly on ICT adoption and many countries have built sound infrastructure.

Most of the countries in the region witnessed an improvement except for Oman, Lebanon and Yemen.

However, greater investments in human capital, are needed to transform the countries in the region into more innovative and creative economies.

With a score of 84.8 (+1.3), Singapore is the world's most competitive economy in 2019. The United States remains the most competitive large economy in the world, coming in at second place. Hong Kong (3rd), Netherlands (4th) and Switzerland (5th) round up the top five.

"The Global Competitiveness Index 4.0 provides a compass for thriving in the new economy where innovation becomes the key factor of competitiveness. The report shows that those countries which integrate into their economic policies an emphasis on infrastructure, skills, research and development and support those left behind are more successful compared to those that focus only on traditional factors of growth." said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

The average across the 141 economies covered is 61 points, almost 40 points to the frontier. This global competitiveness gap is of even more concern as the global economy faces the prospect of a downturn.

The changing geopolitical context and rising trade tensions are fuelling uncertainty and could precipitate a slowdown. However, some of this year's better performers in the GCI appear to be benefiting from the trade feud through trade diversion, including Singapore (1st) and Vietnam (67th), the most improved country in this year's Index.