UAE leads the Middle East in Global Entrepreneurship Index 2020
Mita Srinivasan
10x Industry

UAE leads the Middle East in Global Entrepreneurship Index 2020

Ranked first in Middle East and fourth globally, UAE enhances global competitive position in entrepreneurship

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 outperformed several major global economies including 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. Notably, the country ranked second in the National Governments’ Response to the COVID-19 lockdown and its impact on the entrepreneurial sector.

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.

He added that the Ministry of Economy, in cooperation with various government entities in the UAE, 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.

H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs 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.

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 Centre; the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development; Dubai SME; and the departments of economic development.

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, labour market dynamics, and supportive infrastructure and the culture and societal outlook in support of entrepreneurship, among others.