Thursday 21 March 2019 \

 

Ease of doing business: UAE jumps 10 places to be 11th

The UAE has expedited its march towards making the economy more attractive for foreign investment and easier to do business as the latest World Bank report ranked the nation among the world's top 20 countries for the ease of doing business.
 
According to the Ease of Doing Business 2019 report released on Wednesday by the World Bank, the UAE ranked 11th globally, jumping 10 places from last year's ranking of 21. The UAE also maintained its highest ranking in the Middle East and North Africa region, with reforms captured in four areas.
 
Hailing the UAE's judicial system, the World Bank said the UAE is experiencing improvements in court efficiency and quality of decisions.
 
"The UAE has been particularly active in promoting a coherent system for judicial training with impressive results in court efficiency and quality of decisions. Judges are embracing a culture of continuous learning and development, which allows them to acquire specialised skills."
 
Sami Al Qamzi, director-general, Department of Economic Development, Dubai, attributed this huge leap in the UAE's ranking to the government's relentless efforts to make the country a global hub for investment at par with advanced countries in the world.
 
"Jumping to 11th place worldwide and maintaining the first ranking across the Arab countries in Ease of Doing Business Report 2019 is a results of the efforts exerted by the government entities in the UAE and Dubai, in particular," Al Qamzi added.
 
He noted that the Department of Economic Development, Dubai, played a pivotal role in raising competitiveness and providing an attractive and catalyst to businesses.
 
The instant licence and e-merchant, for example, are some of the most prominent initiatives the DED launched to ease as well as accelerate the procedures to start a business in the emirate of Dubai, Al Qamzi said.
 
Among the measures taken by the UAE that helped improve the ranking include improved online registration; easier electricity connections for commercial and industrial usage of up to 150 kilo-volt-amperes; easier property registration with greater transparency of the land administration system; and easier access to credit by introducing the possibility of a non-possessory security right in a single category of movable assets without requiring a specific description of the collateral, out-of-court enforcement of the security interest, and a unified and modern collateral registry.
 
Jitendra Gianchandani, chairman and managing partner of Jitendra Consulting Group, said the UAE's improvement in the ranking from 21st place to 11th is phenomenal.
 
"It shows the UAE has best regulatory practices - such as construction permits, registration, trading across borders, getting electricity permits, getting credit and tax payment mechanism etc. - when it comes to doing business. Improved ranking means business-friendly and corruption-free environment and lower transactions cost which will ultimately help to attract multinationals to invest in the UAE and attract more foreign investments," Gianchandani said.
 
Led by Dubai and Abu Dhabi, different government entities of the UAE announced a host of initiatives such as reducing different government fees, free commercial licence for some time, freezing school fees, etc over the last one year to improve competitiveness and make the UAE more business-friendly for foreign as well as local entities.
 
According to World Bank, the UAE was followed by Morocco (60), Bahrain (62), Oman (78) and Tunisia (80) in the Middle East and North Africa.
 
The World Bank said economies of the Middle East and North Africa significantly accelerated the pace of reforms in the past year, with 43 reforms, compared to 29 the previous year. This year, the region hosts an economy in the global top 20 grouping, with the UAE's maiden entry in 11th place and one top improver, Djibouti. However, the region continues to lag on gender-related issues, with barriers for women entrepreneurs in place in 14 economies. 
 
"The significant acceleration in the pace of reforms in the Middle East and North Africa is an encouraging demonstration of countries' commitment to nurture entrepreneurship and enable private enterprise. Going forward, policy makers should focus on adopting global best practices in areas where they are most needed," said Santiago Croci Downes, programme manager of the Doing Business Unit, World Bank.
 
Globally, New Zealand topped the list, followed by Singapore, Denmark, Hong Kong, Korea, Georgia, Norway, the US, the UK and Macedonia. Governments around the world set a new record, implementing 314 business reforms over the past year, compared to 290 reforms implemented in the previous year.
 
khaleejtimes.com
 

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