Tech failings hurt UAE competitiveness

World Economic Forum criticises UAE for failing to use latest technologies

Tags: United Arab Emirates
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Tech failings hurt UAE competitiveness The UAE slipped two places in the WEF rankings
By  Daniel Shane Published  September 8, 2011

The UAE slipped two places in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index on the back of its failure to leverage innovative technologies for productivity gains.

The report, published today, placed the Gulf state in 27th position in its 2011/2012 index, down from 25th the year before. The fall marks the second consecutive year that the UAE's ranking has slid by two places. "The drop reflects deterioration in a number of areas, but the most striking is the country's loss of its ability to harness the latest technologies for productivity improvements," the report reads.

However, the forum's annual report did praise the Emirates for improvements in national infrastructure, where it now ranks 8th in the world, in addition to strong macroeconomic stability (11th) and high government efficiency (5th).

Elsewhere in the region, Qatar retained its place as the most competitive economy in the Middle East, coming in at 14th on a global basis. The GCI report cited the country's high-quality institutional framework, stable economic environment and low levels of corruption. Saudi Arabia moved up four places to 17th.

Tunisia and Egypt, two countries impacted heavily by the Arab Spring protests, plummeted by eight and 13 places respectively in the rankings. "In both countries, the drop likely reflects increased uncertainty regarding the future direction of economic policy as well as higher public awareness of the countries' structural weaknesses, resulting mainly in poorer assessments of different aspects of public and private institutions and, to a lesser degree, also deteriorating goods and labor markets efficiency. Similar developments can be observed in some other countries from North Africa and the Levant, notably Jordan, Lebanon, and Algeria," the WEF report read. 

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