The United Arab Emirates has ranked first in the region and third globally (after China and India), as the third most connected emerging economy, according to the 2019 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index.
In Agility’s 10th annual ranking of 50 emerging markets, a broad gauge of competitiveness based on logistics strength and business fundamentals, GCC countries outperformed most others, with the UAE out-performing all GCC countries.
Business-friendly conditions and core strengths position several Gulf countries near the top of the Index, behind emerging giants China and India, and alongside Southeast Asian nations. The UAE also ranks first in business fundamentals globally, according to the results of the index.
In the Gulf, the UAE (No. 3), Saudi Arabia (6), Qatar (8), Oman (12), Bahrain (16) and Kuwait (18) rank highly. Among ASEAN countries, Indonesia (4), Malaysia (5), Vietnam (10) Thailand (11) and Philippines (20) are also strong.
“The strong performance of Gulf economies in the Index is the result of wise investment in logistics and transport infrastructure, concerted efforts to diversify, steady progress in streamlining regulation, and strategic development of digital capabilities,” says Elias Monem, CEO of Middle East & Africa for Agility Global Integrated Logistics.
“The healthy competition among Gulf economies has helped put the entire region out in front,” he added.
Agility’s annual survey of more than 500 supply chain industry professionals shows logistics executives are upbeat about the 2019 emerging markets growth outlook, but fearful that trade tensions, currency and interest rate volatility, and Brexit could trigger a crisis.
In the survey, 55.7% say a 2019 growth rate of 5% is “about right,” but a surprising percentage – 47.1% – say an emerging markets crisis is “likely” or “highly likely.”
Emerging markets expanded by 4.7% in 2018, and the International Monetary Fund now forecasts 4.5% expansion for 2019.
The Index ranks 50 countries by factors that make them attractive to logistics providers, freight forwarders, shipping lines, air cargo carriers and distributors.
The top 10 are: China, India, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Qatar, Turkey and Vietnam.
China, India and Indonesia rank highest for domestic logistics; China, India and Mexico are top for international logistics; and the UAE, Malaysia and Qatar have the best business fundamentals.