KPMG International’s Change Readiness Index shows UAE is the third most prepared for change in the world

  • UAE most prepared among other countries in MENA
  • Countries ranked on Enterprise, Government, People and Civil Society capabilities

The United Arab Emirates is most prepared for change among the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries, and the third most prepared in the world, KPMG’s 2017 Change Readiness Index (CRI) showed.

The leading global audit, tax and advisory firm, today launched the 2017 KPMG International Change Readiness Index, ranking 136 countries for their capacity to respond and adapt to significant change, resulting from short-term events, such as natural disasters, and longer-term demographic, economic, social and technological trends.

The UAE climbed two spots from the 2015 CRI and topped the Middle East and Africa region coming in third in 2017, while Switzerland topped the charts. The country scored

1 on Enterprise Capability, 2 on Government Capability and 17 on People & Civil Society Capability.

The CRI provides deep insights into where countries can focus and invest to be prepared for the increasing pace of change worldwide—breaking down each country’s capacity across three key “pillars” of capability:

  1. Enterprise Capability: the ability of private and state-owned organisations to manage change and grow within a dynamic economic environment
  1. Government Capability: the ability of governmental and public regulatory institutions to manage and influence change
  1. People & Civil Society Capability: the ability of individual citizens and the wider society to cope with change and respond to opportunities

In 2017, every top-ten country, with the exception of Singapore, increased its Government and People & Civil Society Capability scores over those in 2015. Just four of the top 20 ranked countries saw a decline in People & Civil Society scores, whereas 25 of the bottom 30 countries showed a decline in the rankings in this capability.

The 2017 index, like the 2015 index, indicated that countries dependent on natural resources and export incomes faced set-backs. However, the UAE and Norway broke the pattern and displayed strong performance in the CRI.

The study also provides sub-indicator rankings for each country.  For the UAE, Government Strategic Planning & Horizon Scanning, Demographics, and Security were identified as Strengths while Enterprise Sustainability, Technology Use and Health were the Opportunities.

“The CRI offers an eye-opening view of which countries are best positioned to weather and potentially benefit from inevitable change, and the factors behind their preparedness. It is increasingly becoming evident that countries cannot only focus on GDP or business outputs to be considered as change ready. The CRI shows that improving capabilities in areas of government and people & civil society, as well as in enterprise, or business environment, are often key to why some countries are able to climb up the rankings,” said Vikas Papriwal, Partner and Head of Markets, KPMG Lower Gulf.

The improvement in rankings sheds light on the efforts the UAE is taking to be among the best countries in the world by year 2021, as part of its National Agenda and broadly, the UAE Vision 2021. Some of the initiatives undertaken in the National Agenda include implementing the e-link’ project to enhance financial planning, appropriately allocate financial resources and support federal budget automation; developing health information systems and infrastructure in healthcare facilities; and reducing by half the time taken for processing residency permits. Recently, the UAE also moved up six spots on the 2017 Global Innovation Index to number 35, and led the Arab nations in innovation.