Collective efforts consolidate UAE’s position in global system of innovation: Reem Al Hashemy.

The UAE has launched various initiatives and taken several actions to strengthen the regulatory and legislative environment in support of innovation and move forward in providing the necessary elements to sustain growth. This was reflected in the 2017 Global Innovation Index, GII, where the UAE topped Arab countries and ranked 35th globally, reaffirming its status as one of the world’s most innovative countries.

The results were officially announced on 15th June at the UN headquarters in Geneva. The index provides a reliable measure for assessing and improving innovation and helping promote its role as a catalyst for growth and prosperity.

Commenting on the favourable results, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairperson of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, said, “Thanks to the wisdom and guidance of our leaders, the authority’s team in cooperation with the concerned government entities has succeeded in working strategically to improve the UAE’s performance in this year’s Global Innovation Index, and in consolidating the UAE’s strengths as a key player in the global innovation system.”

“The fostering of a culture of innovation is the result of the successful exchange of knowledge and experience and the implementation of the best international practices,” she added.

According to GII results, the UAE improved in the Market Sophistication pillar, ranking 33rd globally, due to the credit and investment sub-pillars. This was largely driven by an improvement in the UAE’s rank in venture capital deals where it experienced an increase of 6 ranks.

The domestic credit to the private sector as a percentage of GDP moved from 65 percent to 77 percent, following last year’s positive trend. In the investment sub-pillar, the ease of protecting minority investors also increased 25 percent from 60 to 75 while market capitalisation improved from 51 percent to 53 percent of total GDP.

The business sophistication pillar, where UAE ranked 25th globally, remained high in the 2017 edition of the GII due to the Knowledge Absorption sub-pillar in which the nation advanced by 43 ranks. The UAE moved up from the 89th rank to the 66th rank in high-tech imports as a percentage of total trade as the latter improved from six percent to eight percent.

Foreign direct investment inflow constituted 2.7 percent of total GDP from 2.5 percent last year. The UAE also ranked 10th globally in research talent in business enterprise with a score of 61 percent.

Abdullah Lootah, Director-General of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, has affirmed that the authority has provided significant data on trade in services and the flow of investments as well as other important elements to support the UAE’s exceptional performance on the global innovation index while taking into consideration accuracy and modernity according to international standards.

“This has reinforced the state’s data related to payment balances, performance, and innovation indices,” he added.

The Global Innovation Index is one of several key indices under the UAE National Agenda’s ‘Competitive Knowledge-based Economy’ pillar. It is overseen by the Ministry of Economy in cooperation with several entities, the most prominent of which are the Ministry of Education, the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, the Central Bank, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the Ministry of Finance, the Securities and Commodities Authority, and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, TRA, among others.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs