By Andy Sambidge
World Economic Forum global list puts UAE top in Middle East and 16th overall.
The UAE is leading the way for the Middle East in a new global list produced by the World Economic Forum which ranks countries' ability to encourage trade.
According to The Global Enabling Trade Report 2010, the UAE was the 16th best nation at enabling trade - moving up two places compared to last year.
The UAE's ranking was one better than the UK and three places higher than the US.
The list was topped by East Asian economies – Singapore and Hong Kong – followed by Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, Bahrain moved two places up the list to 22nd while Oman leapt five places to 29th.
Qatar was placed at 34th - a rise of one place on the 2009 ranking - while Saudi Arabia improved by two places to 40th.
Kuwait was the worst ranked Gulf nation after falling six places to rank 65th out of a total of 125 economies rated by the World Economic Forum.
The Enabling Trade Index measures institutions, policies and services facilitating the free flow of goods over borders and to destination.
It breaks the enablers into four issue areas - market access, border administration, transport and communications infrastructure, and business environment.
The Global Enabling Trade Report 2010 has been launched at a time when trade volumes start to recover from the deepest post-war slump.
Regarding Bahrain's performance, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Essa Al-Khalifa, chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), said: “Bahrain has always been a trading nation. We continue to focus on improving ease of trade, both with our neighbours in the GCC and Middle East as well as with global trading partners in Europe, the Americas and across Asia.
“Creating the right business environment is a vital step towards making the private sector the engine of growth, a key element of our Vision 2030.”