Tops all emerging economies in business climate, digital readiness
The United Arab Emirates ranks No. 1 overall as the most competitive emerging market in GCC and No. 3 globally after only giants China and India, according to the recently revealed 2022 annual Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index.
The UAE led all 50 countries in the Index in creating the best business conditions and in the area of digital readiness, a new category in the Index.
The UAE outperformed all 50 countries in business fundamentals, an area where Gulf and MENA countries are clear leaders. Others near the top: Saudi Arabia (3), Bahrain (5), Oman (6), Morocco (9), Jordan (10), and Kuwait (12).
Overall, Saudi Arabia (6) and Qatar (7) also ranked among the top 10 emerging markets in the 2022 Index, which was led by China (1) and India (2). Also performing well: Oman (14), Bahrain (15) and Kuwait (17).
The 2022 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index is the company’s 13th annual ranking of the world’s 50 leading emerging markets. The Index ranks countries for overall competitiveness based on their planning strengths, business climates and, for the first time, their digital readiness — factors that make them attractive to logistics providers, freight forwarders, air and ocean carriers, distributors and investors. The Index includes a survey of 756 supply chain industry professionals.
Top 10 in digital readiness: UAE, Malaysia, China, Saudi Arabia, India, Thailand, Qatar, Indonesia, Chile and Philippines. Kuwait (12) and Oman (15) also ranked highly.
“The connection between a country’s digital capabilities and growth prospects is undeniable,” remarked Tarek Sultan, CEO, Agility. “The competitiveness of emerging markets countries will be determined by their ability to develop digitally skilled businesses and talent pools and find the resolve to lower their emissions in ways that spur growth rather than sacrificing it,” he continued.
Digital readiness assesses digital skills, training, Internet access, e-commerce growth, investment climate, and ability to nurture start-ups, as well as sustainability factors such as renewable energy mix, lower emissions intensity and green initiatives.
Importance of readiness
The importance of digital readiness was apparent in the survey. Logistics executives identified adoption of technology as the leading driver of economic and business growth for emerging markets. The top focus areas for their companies: technology and sustainability.
Most logistics industry executives see moderate-to-strong economic growth and little or no chance of recession in 2022, even without immediate relief from the snarled supply chains and sky-high ocean and air freight rates triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Roughly two-thirds of the 756 industry professionals surveyed for the Index believe shippers will see cargo rates come down by the end of the year. Eighty percent see port bottlenecks, air capacity shortages and trucking issues easing by year end.
2022 Index Highlights:
China and India, the world’s two largest countries, held their spots at No. 1 and 2 in the overall rankings. UAE, Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Thailand, Mexico and Turkey rounded out the top 10. Vietnam, No. 8 in 2021, fell to 11th, switching places with Thailand. South Africa ranked No. 24, highest ever for a country in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Powerhouse exporters China, India and Mexico topped the rankings for international logistics and UAE leading in the GCC. China, India and Indonesia ranked highest for domestic logistics.
In the Middle East and North Africa, rankings are: UAE (3), Saudi Arabia (6), Qatar (7), Turkey (10), Oman (14), Bahrain (15), Kuwait (17), Jordan (19), Morocco (20), Egypt (21), Iran (30), Lebanon (35), Tunisia (36), Algeria (37), Libya (50).
Transport Intelligence (Ti) a leading analysis and research firm for the logistics industry, compiled the Index. “Digitization will play an important role in facilitating frictionless cross-border movements, but in the long run the benefits of globalization will only be shared with emerging markets if supply chains and logistics can be made more resilient in the face of future crises,” commented John Manners-Bell, Chief Executive of Ti.
Want to stay updated on the latest industry news and trends? Subscribe today to receive your monthly news highlights directly in your inbox!