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The logistics sector in the GCC: a thriving market

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logistics

The World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index (LPI) ranks 160 countries on their trade logistics performance and is based on survey data from more than 1,200 logistics professionals. The World Bank report considers logistics performance both in international trade and domestically to be central to the economic growth and competitiveness of countries, and the logistics sector is now recognised as one of the core pillars of economic development.

This year, the bi-annual report, “Connecting to Compete 2016: Trade Logistics in the Global Economy” showed the growing importance of this sector in the GCC countries. Indeed, while the UAE remains top in the Middle East region in 13th place globally, Qatar is the second-best country in the GCC region in terms of logistics infrastructure, regulations and investment climate. Globally, Qatar came in 30th position, which puts the country ahead of comparatively advanced economies such as Portugal and New Zealand[1].

Qatar’s performance reflects major steps taken in recent years to further improve its infrastructure such as road and train network and ports. The largest of these investments is seen at Hamad Port, which will be fully operational by the end of 2016 when Container Terminal 1 will offer a capacity of 2 million containers per year.

Concerning Oman, an impressive improvement has been noticed as the country was ranked 11 places higher than 2014, being the best performance of any other Middle East nation in the report[2]. This strong performance is due to logistics quality, customs and tracking and tracing system. In recent years, thanks to a strategic plan for the logistics sector as part of the Ninth Five-Year Plan (2016-20), the sultanate’s logistics sector has received increased attention as it appears to be central for the diversifying and growing of the national economy.

 

[1] Qatar second only to UAE in WB logistics índex, Arabian Industry, September 19, 2016

[2] Oman outperforms GCC in World Bank logistics ranking, Arabian Industry, July 10, 2016

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