The UAE has been ranked first in the in the region, and fourth globally in the Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI) 2020 by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM – NECI), climbing up from its fifth ranking in the 2019 report. The country has outperformed many of the major global economies such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, European Union countries, China, Japan and South Korea in the overall rankings of the index.
The UAE achieved advanced rankings in many of the sub-indicators included in the general index structure in its 2020 version. Most notably, the country ranked second in the National Governments’ Response to the COVID-19 lockdown and its impact on the entrepreneurial sector.
The UAE also ranked high on the General Physical Infrastructure and Services indicator access with 7.3 points out of 10, outperforming United Kingdom, the United States, Spain, Austria and Germany. The country also achieved the same score on the Cultural, Social Norms and Society Support.
Furthermore, the country also ranked high in the sub indicator R&D Level of Transference, along with the Kingdom of Norway and Italy, ahead of Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, South Korea.
H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy, said that the achievement is a matter of great pride, which confirms the soundness of the approach and the strength of the economic policies pursued by the UAE, with the support and guidance of its wise leadership. The UAE’s fourth ranking globally in the Global Entrepreneurship Index indicates the success of national efforts made over the past decade to develop the country’s entrepreneurship sector and highlight the projects model of SMEs as a main driver of economic diversification and sustainability and raise its competitiveness at the global level.
H.E. added: “Today, the UAE has a world-leading experience in supporting and organizing the entrepreneurship sector, in building an integrated system to support and incubate entrepreneurial projects, accelerate their growth, and developing initiatives and programs that make it a growth engine and a major contributor to our non-oil GDP. Led by the directives of our wise leadership, the Ministry of Economy, in cooperation with various government entities in the country, will continue its efforts to support and empower Emirati entrepreneurs for the development of SMEs and start-ups in the country, especially those based on innovative ideas, as a priority within the UAE’s plans for the next fifty years. We will ensure the integration of new business models into the activities of entrepreneurs to improve their performances, make them globally competitive and enable them to keep pace with global developments and ultimately become active participants in the country’s economic transformation.”
H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs said that the country’s excellent global ranking in GEI reflects the success of its efforts and ambitious aspirations that stem from the insightful vision of its wise leadership. This indeed is a valuable addition to the country’s record of outstanding economic achievements. These efforts will continue in cooperation with the Ministry’s partners inside and outside the country to make Emirati entrepreneurs the best and most successful in the world in the coming years, he said.
H.E. Al Falasi indicated that the Ministry is developing an integrated strategy to stimulate entrepreneurship during the next phase in cooperation with the concerned authorities. This is aimed at developing an integrated framework to support national entrepreneurship, drive the development of the SME sector in the various emirates of the country, and to create an environment capable of providing comprehensive and sustainable support for entrepreneurs in the country. These efforts will focus on the ease of doing business, access to finance, increasing demand, business support, innovation, and digital transformation. He further explained that the entrepreneurship and SME sector has today become a major engine for economic growth, in addition to its pivotal role in creating job opportunities and increasing the country’s competitiveness at the regional and global levels.
H.E. added: “The economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 have affected the entrepreneurial sector negatively in most countries of the world and have led to the decline of most of the world economies. The progress made by countries on this indicator during the pandemic is a multiplier and reflects the unparalleled efforts made by the UAE to ensure support for this sector. This ensured the continuity of businesses and put them on a sustainable path of growth, which is reflected in the country’s second ranking globally in the sub-indicator namely Speed of Government Response to the Effects of the Pandemic on the Entrepreneurship Sector.”
GEI is one of the indicators of the UAE Vision 2021 national agenda, under the axis of ‘Competitive Knowledge Economy,’ supervised by the Ministry of Economy, with the contribution of a national team and with the participation of many stakeholders in the country. These include the Prime Minister’s Office; the Statistics and Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Cntre; the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development; Dubai SME; and the departments of economic development.
Indonesia ranked first in the GIM 2020, followed by the Netherlands of and Taiwan. The index is published by GEM, which is the world’s first reference for the state of entrepreneurship in various countries, especially by international organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the United Nations organizations.
The report is the largest study on entrepreneurship and its activities in the world and includes a summary of the research that the Observatory conducts on global economies to evaluate the state of entrepreneurship in various countries. The report’s methodology focuses on achieving three main objectives: measuring differences in entrepreneurial activity across world economies and understanding the ecosystem of entrepreneurship; discovering the factors affecting it; and proposing policies that can help enhance the level of entrepreneurial activity in the participating countries.
The index evaluates participating countries on many sub-indicators within a flexible structure that includes aspects such as finance, government policies, and government programs for entrepreneurs, research and development and knowledge transfer, teaching entrepreneurship skills in school and university education, labor market dynamics, and supportive infrastructure and the culture and societal outlook in support of entrepreneurship, among others.