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Modern legislation to enhance UAE competitiveness

Competitiveness means the ability to balance economic and societal needs

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Abdullah Lootah
Gulf News

Dubai: Modern legislation and smooth data collection process is required to improve UAE’s ranking in the world competitiveness reports, Abdullah Lootah, Secretary General of Emirates Competitiveness Council (ECC), told Gulf News in a special interview.

He said: “What is required to enhance the UAE competitiveness is to update the legislation and provide sufficient data.”

“The next step is to further update key federal and local rules and regulations which is vital for intensified business activity and growth.”

However, Lootah added: “Despite all the current challenges, the UAE is performing extremely well and is ranked at the top of the Arab countries in most international reports.”

The UAE became the only Arab country to be included in the Global Economics driven by Innovation, the third and the most advanced stage of competitiveness in the Global Competitiveness Report 2012-13, according to the World Economic Forum.

The Global Competitiveness Report, however, ranked the UAE 24th out of 144 countries globally — an improvement of three ranks from last year and ahead of countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Spain.

Today, Dubai is holding the third edition of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils (GFCC) Summit, where global network of leaders from Competitiveness Councils around the world gather for the first time in the Middle East and Africa.

The UAE is one of seven founding members of the GFCC since its inception in 2010. “The GFCC has been a platform to bring together existing national competitiveness entities to encourage dialogue for collaboration amongst nations and organizations, said Lootah”

Lootah pointed out how the nation is on continuous improvement and is striving on a daily bases to keep the UAE vibrant and at the forefront of most competitive countries in the world.

The UAE is defining competitiveness in achieving prosperity, social welfare and quality of life, amid sustainable economic growth for everyone living in the UAE, whether Emirati or expatriate.

“At the ECC we are trying to put everything on the same page. However, we need to fix our old laws and legislation and benchmark our performance with the best international standards.

“Moreover, because of the Federal system the process of collecting data across the emirates is quite difficult as well as the language sometimes is not compatible with international standards.”

However, our government is working hard to ease and facilitate all procedures required to enhance the country’s competitiveness.”

“And there is remarkable cooperation at the individual and institutional level to achieve this,” he added.

Updating legal status will have strong reflection on the UAE’s performance and social welfare and prosperity.

The laborious process as well as lack of proper deadlines are the reasons why issuing a series of laws including, FDI, Companies, SMEs, Industrial, Governance, Bankruptcy, Collateral Registry, Trade Secrets, are so longdrawn, he said.

“Moreover, we are benchmarking our social and legal infrastructure with Nordic countries, the best worldwide in competitiveness reports.”

“We are working on laws covering maternity and paternity leave as well as part-time work, women at work and many other things.” 

GFCC summit

Lootah said: “National and international experts will explore enhanced ways of thinking about capturing and measuring the impact that innovation has on a nation’s competitiveness. Additionally, we will be standardising these new methods and documenting them as references, available for individuals and organisations worldwide that are aspiring to harness the positive effects that innovation has on competitiveness.”


The summit is organised in cooperation with the Global Federation of Competitiveness Coucil (GFCC) and hosted by ECC in Dubai and Abu Dhabi on from November 27- 29 and with the support of partners including the Competitiveness office of Abu Dhabi (COAD), Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) and Dubai FDI.