The UAE has fallen one place to third in a global list ranking the world's best emerging markets but still boasts the best business climate, according to a new report.
The 2017 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index ranked China top while India moved above the UAE to take second spot compared to last year.
In the business climate sector, the UAE was followed by Qatar in second place, Oman in third and Bahrain in fourth while Saudi Arabia ranked 7th and Kuwait 10th.
The index also said the UAE had the best transport and logistics connections.
It said Bahrain climbed five spots in the overall rankings to 23th, rebounding after years of social unrest that damaged its economy and dampened investment.
The index, now in its eighth year, offers an annual snapshot of industry sentiment and ranks the world’s leading emerging markets by size, business conditions, and transport infrastructure and connections. It includes a survey of more than 800 global logistics executives.
The index looked at the strength of the service sector, urbanisation, security, foreign investment, wealth distribution, and the levels of bureaucracy and regulation confronted by businesses.
“The UAE has taken a strategic view of its development outside the energy sector and continues to improve its attractiveness to logistics providers and their customers,” said Elias Monem, Middle East and Africa CEO of Agility Global Integrated Logistics. “The low energy prices of recent years have prompted other Gulf states to do the same.”
The index also highlighted the emergence of Iran after years of international isolation, leaping eight spots to 18th.
China, the world’s second-largest economy, remains the world’s leading emerging market ahead of India. Supply chain executives identified the direction of China’s economy as the factor most likely to drive global economic and trade growth in 2017.
Robust growth and long-anticipated tax and economic reform pushed India to 2nd in the index, the report said.
Despite upbeat views of India and Iran, industry professionals sounded notes of caution about the broad outlook for emerging markets. Nearly 69 percent expressed concern that the UK’s Brexit vote and the failure of global and regional trade initiatives signal a threat to trade.