In Agility’s 10th annual ranking of 50 leading emerging markets, a broad gauge of competitiveness based on logistics strength and business fundamentals, Gulf countries outperformed most others. Business-friendly conditions and core strengths position several Gulf countries near the top of the index, behind giants China (ranked first) and India (ranked second), and alongside Southeast Asian nations.
Retaining its top position within the GCC region, the UAE ranked third in Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index this year. Saudi Arabia ranked sixth, and Bahrain and Kuwait came at 16th and 18th places, respectively.
“The strong performance of Gulf economies in the index is the result of wise investment in logistics and transport infrastructure, concerted efforts to diversify, steady progress in streamlining regulation, and strategic development of digital capabilities,” Elias Monem, chief executive officer for the Middle East and Africa at Agility Global Integrated Logistics, said in a press release.
“The healthy competition among Gulf economies has helped put the entire region out in front,” he added.
Agility’s annual survey of more than 500 supply chain industry professionals shows logistics executives are upbeat about the 2019 emerging markets growth outlook, but fearful that trade tensions, currency and interest rate volatility, and Brexit could trigger a crisis.
The index ranks 50 countries by factors that make them attractive to logistics providers, freight forwarders, shipping lines, air cargo carriers and distributors.
The Agility report said that ecommerce is fueling logistics opportunities in emerging markets. Sixty per cent of industry executives expect more outsourcing of last-mile delivery by retailers; 47.4 per cent expecting more e-fulfilment outsourcing.
Transport Intelligence (Ti), a leading analysis and research firm for the logistics industry, compiled the Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index.