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UAE leading Arab world in innovation

Country increases six places globally to 35th position on 2017 Global Innovation Index

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Providing resources for innovation and creating an enabling environment for quality investment has improved the UAE’s standing in the 2017 Global Innovation Index, where the country has topped the Arab world and ranked 35th globally. It improved six places from last year’s 41st position.

Reem Bint Ebrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairperson of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, said, “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.

Ambassador Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva, said during a press conference on Thursday that the UAE’s remarkable standing in the latest Global Innovation Index represents an additional step towards strengthening the country’s regional and global position in innovation and various other competitive and developmental fields.

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.

This year’s Global Innovation Index measured the innovation-related performance of 127 countries and economies representing 92.5 per cent of the total world population and the vast proportion of global GDP.

It used 81 indicators providing comprehensive insights on the various areas of innovation, most notably institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market sophistication, business sophistication, knowledge and technology outputs, and creative outputs.

Mubarak Al Mansouri, Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE, said that the continuous progress achieved by the UAE on this important global index reflects the excellent performance in many sectors related to innovation in the country and its increasing ability to attract quality investments that enhance its competitive position in innovation.

In the knowledge and technology outputs pillar, the UAE increased 15 positions to 45th, thanks to a 28-rank increase in foreign direct investment net outflows and a 16-rank increase in the net high-tech exports as a percentage of total trade.

In the knowledge output sub-pillar, the UAE moved up 20 ranks due to a similar rank increase in computer software spending as a percentage of GDP.

The UAE’s score increased by 31 per cent in the creative outputs pillar, a 23-rank-increase, which represents the highest score increase among all innovation pillars. The increase is caused by a surge in the creative goods and services sub-pillar, where the UAE moved from 109th globally to 34th worldwide, a 75-rank increase.

This surge was driven by an 88-rank increase in the creative goods exports as a percentage of total trade indicator. The increase was also driven by newly available data in the UAE on printing and publishing output as a percentage of total manufacturing output where it is ranked at 14th place.

Two other national strengths behind the rank increase relate to information and communication technologies. The intangible assets sub-pillar, the extent to which ICTs enables business model creation, and the extent to which ICTs enable organisational model creation saw the UAE rank 10th and 13th positions globally.

The score of the online creativity sub-pillar improved from 14.8 to 25.1 following a 15-rank increase in the number of video uploads on the YouTube variable which saw rankings increase from 47th to 32nd globally.

Overall the UAE continues to convert input into output and is expected to continue on this trend in the coming years.

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