The UAE has made significant strides in its transition towards a digital economy over the past five years, WAM reported.
A key component to this achievement is the burgeoning e-commerce industry within the UAE, which is expected to reach $27.2 billion (AED 100 billion) by 2020, according to the World Economic Forum.
These accomplishments have helped to reinforce the competitiveness of the UAE’s national economy, according to indexes published by international organisations, including the World Economic Forum, which ranked the UAE as the leading Arab and regional e-commerce centre in 2017.
The country is expected to further reinforce its position in the digital economy over the next two years, supported by factors that include developments to e-commerce, improvements to the information technology infrastructure, the increased spread of Internet services, the use of smartphones and the expansion of electronic payment systems, as well as significant government support for digital transformation.
The UAE will also account for 40 percent of total e-commerce in the Middle East by 2020, and its e-commerce sector will be supported by its decision to join the Trade Facilitation Agreement in 2017.
The agreement is one of the key achievements of the World Trade Organisation, WTO, which aims to improve international customs clearance and release, reduce transaction costs, and increase transparency in international trade procedures.
On a local level, the UAE’s growing stature in the digital economy sector is a priority of the government, and there is ongoing coordination between relevant ministries, including the Ministry of Economy, and private sector institutions to establish a federal e-commerce platform.
In June, the UAE has been ranked as the most digital-friendly Middle East nation in Euler Hermes’s latest study titled ‘The enabling digitilisation index: Which countries are digital friendly’?” It was ranked as the 24th best performer globally in the index, which the index attributed to the “impressive trade infrastructure coupled with a supportive business environment.