Saudi Arabia ranks 6th globally in annual logistics index

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia ranks sixth globally in annual logistics index, according to the 2019 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index.

Saudi Arabia also comes in at No. 5 for business fundamentals, indicative of the country’s notable improvement in its business environment, and is a strength that will be key to the Kingdom’s ability to transform its economy under Vision 2030.

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 outperform most others. Business-friendly conditions and core strengths position several Gulf countries near the top of the Index, behind giants China (1) and India (2), and alongside Southeast Asian nations.

In the Gulf, United Arab Emirates (No. 3), Saudi Arabia (6), Qatar (8), Oman (12), Bahrain (16) and Kuwait (18) rank highly. Among ASEAN countries, Indonesia (4), Malaysia (5), Vietnam (10) Thailand (11) and Philippines (20) are strong.

“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,” says Elias Monem, CEO of Middle East & Africa for Agility Global Integrated Logistics. “The healthy competition among Gulf economies has helped put the entire region out in front.”

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 top 10 are: China, India, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Qatar, Turkey and Vietnam.

Iran’s near-term potential has evaporated as a result of re-imposed US sanctions. Nearly 75% of those surveyed say Iran is “less promising than before” or “not at all promising.” Iran ranks 49th of 50 countries as an international logistics opportunity.

The UAE and Malaysia are tops for business fundamentals. Gulf countries Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia also score high. Among the 50 Index countries, it’s hardest to do business in Venezuela, Angola, Myanmar and Libya. — SG

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