(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The UAE continues to be a world leader in facilitating trade, retaining its position as number one in the Middle East and North Africa region, and number five in the world in the "Trading Across Borders" category, according to the latest World Bank Doing Business Report 2013.
Welcoming the report, Jamal Majid bin Thaniah, chairman of Dubai Trade, the premier cross-border trade facilitator, said the UAE is recognised as a great place to do business despite the challenges facing world economies.
"Dubai Trade actively supports the UAE's involvement in international trade by offering the world's easiest and fastest procedures and services for trade across borders. We will continue our efforts to keep the UAE at the forefront of trade in the region and the world," he said.
Bin Thaniah said the World Bank's report is a valuable reference for improving services at Dubai Trade and Dubai government, as Dubai seeks to be the best in all regulatory areas that foster business environment.
He said the report helps Dubai Trade identify areas for improvement and benchmark our performance indicators against the top country in each business area to set our goals accordingly.
The UAE was among the first countries to use input from the Doing Business Report in its regulatory reform programme on both emirate and ministerial level. As a facilitator of trade across borders, Dubai Trade has created an alliance with the World Bank on one hand, and the established committee of the Dubai Executive Council, the Emirates Competitiveness Council and other concerned government entities to use complete transparency in collecting data from the various trading communities, communicating them directly to the World Bank and validating the report, he said.
The Doing Business Report investigates the regulations and reforms that positively or negatively affect business activities in a country, using quantitative indicators based on more than 57,000 unique data points collected annually to rank 185 countries and guide policymakers on required reforms in 11 vital areas for business operations.
"Successive regulatory reforms have pushed UAE's overall global ranking in the Doing Business index from 37th two years ago to 33rd last year, up to 26th this year," he said.
Mohammed Al Muallem, senior vice-president and managing director of DP World, UAE Region, said the UAE's rise to one of the world's top five economies in facilitating trade across borders is the result of a long history of process and service automation which was spearheaded by Dubai Trade in close cooperation with DP World and other strategic partners, and in consultation with the trading community at Jebel Ali Port.
"Innovative electronic services, such as e-payment, e-token and e-gate passes have been instrumental in contributing to this achievement. The emphasis on innovative technology to enhance trade will continue with the expanded capacity at Terminal 2 and the brand new Terminal 3 facility now under construction," said Al Muallem. "We value our partnership with Dubai Trade, through which we aim to offer reliable, fast and highly efficient electronic services to facilitate legitimate trade movement as well as strengthen Dubai's position as a trading hub through the development of modern customs systems that contribute to the realisation of Dubai's vision and leadership, such as the customs clearance system, Mirsal 2, whose expedience and simplification of procedures has markedly contributed to growth in external trade in Dubai and the UAE," said Juma Al Ghaith, executive director of the Customs Development Division.
Al Ghaith said this makes Dubai an attractive destination for global investments since customers always expect to be offered user-friendly clearance services that are available around the clock, with the least administrative conditions and requirements - a matter that we now offer via Dubai Trade Portal, the leading institution under Dubai World to offer electronic services to companies and establishments. "Our rating today means that our performance has surpassed even that of several high-income member economies of the OECD," said Eng Mahmood Al Bastaki, CEO of Dubai Trade.