UAE best in GCC for transport infrastructure, WEF report finds

GCC state comes in 11th internationally, ahead of US, Finland and Belgium, on the back of its carefully planned spending on infrastructure projects, Minister of Public Works says

The UAE has been ranked at number one regionally and 11th globally in terms of the availability and quality of transport infrastructure, the latest Global Enabling Trade Report 2012, released by the World Economic Forum, has found.

The ranking puts the GCC country ahead of countries such as the United States, Finland and Belgium.

According to Sheikh Hamad bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Public Works, the UAE’s ranking is a result of its carefully planned spending on infrastructure projects.

“The Ministry of Public Works continues to build road networks connecting the country’s cities to further boost the economy. Public spending on infrastructure by the UAE is the highest regionally. The availability and quality of infrastructure in the UAE contributes to the national economy and furthers our commitment to the development of the country,” he explained.

The report put the UAE at 17th amongst the economies who have had 100% of their road network paved. It was also globally ranked fourth in terms of the quality of its air transport infrastructure, sixth in terms of the quality of seaport infrastructure and seventh in transshipment connectivity.

Other strong areas that were highlighted by the WEF report include the UAE’s ongoing commitment to trade, including Border Administration (11th globally), Transport and Communications Infrastructure (18th globally) and Business Environment (12th). The UAE also topped the region in all these areas, it added.

The Enabling Trade Index, published within the framework of the Global Competitiveness Network and the Supply Chain and Transportation Industry Partnership, was developed in consultation with key industry leaders, academics and international organisations in the trade arena.

It measures the extent to which economies have developed institutions, policies and services facilitating the free flow of goods over borders and to destinations.

The four key areas of assessment are: Market Access, Border Administration, Transport and Telecommunications Infrastructure and the Business Environment. There are also sub-indices within these broad fields.

The index is meant to provide a yardstick of countries’ performance in creating and enabling trade environments, as well as pin-pointing the areas where improvements are needed the most.

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