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Saudi Arabia, UAE Among Top 10 Logistics Markets

Arabian Gulf countries have had a high ranking in the 2020 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index, with UAE and Saudi Arabia among the top 10 logistics markets.

In the GCC, the UAE ranked third, Saudi Arabia sixth, Oman 14th, Bahrain 15th, and Kuwait 19th. From Southeastern Asia, Indonesia came fourth, Malaysia fifth, Thailand ninth and Vietnam 11th.

Gulf countries outperform most other emerging market regions in the Index, a broad gauge of competitiveness based on logistics strength and business fundamentals.

Business-friendly conditions and core strengths position helped grant Gulf countries pioneering ranks behind giants China (1) and India (2) and alongside Southeast Asian nations.

“The Gulf nations continue to diversify, making steady progress in streamlining regulation and realizing increased digital capabilities,” says Elias Monem, CEO of Middle East & Africa for Agility GIL. “The entire region is growing and the outlook continues to be healthy as we enter the new decade.”

The Index, which is based on a survey of 780 supply chain professionals across 50 countries, also revealed that a big majority (64 percent) of respondents see a global recession in 2020, while only 12 percent believe that a recession is an unlikely event this year.

The top 10 are China, India, UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Mexico, Thailand, and Turkey. China, India, and Indonesia rank highest for domestic logistics -- China, India, and Mexico are top for international logistics -- UAE, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia have the best business fundamentals.

The survey revealed that 24 percent of participants saw that the long-term US-China confrontation would positively impact Southeast Asian nations that are alternatives to China in terms of sources and manufacturing.