The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has secured the top position worldwide across 20 indicators of future readiness

The unveiling of the inaugural “Future Possibilities Index” (FPI) report for 2024 took place at the UAE pavilion in Davos, a collaborative effort between Newsweek Vantage International and the Swiss Horizon Group. In the previous year, the UAE government joined forces with these two international institutions to establish a partnership aimed at producing this report. The FPI assesses the potential future advancements facilitated by global transformations and evaluates countries’ preparedness to harness them for the advancement of key sectors in future development.

According to the report, the UAE secured the second position worldwide in the Government Vision Index, surpassing both Britain and South Korea and following Singapore. Additionally, the UAE claimed the second spot globally in supporting the entrepreneurship environment by the government, outpacing countries such as Singapore, Switzerland, the United States, and Denmark. Furthermore, the UAE achieved the third position globally in long-term future planning and the formulation of future government strategies.

The Future Possibilities Index (FPI) findings showcased the UAE as the global leader in 20 key indicators. These included the government’s adept responsiveness to change, the formulation of forward-looking policies, and the initiation of proactive government initiatives. The UAE also claimed the top position globally in the attractiveness and stability of global talent, the abundance of competitive working-age talent, the future pool of digital software developers, the count of international tertiary education students, the size of the UAE market with its consumer spending potential, as well as ICT connectivity, mobile broadband subscriptions, and speed, and the overall number of internet users.

The launch of the Index took place during an event hosted at the UAE Pavilion, as part of the country’s engagement at the World Economic Forum 2024 in Davos, Switzerland. The event was attended by Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future, Nigel Holloway, Editorial Director at Newsweek Vantage, Margareta Drzeniek, Managing Partner at Horizon Group, and several high-ranking officials from the UAE government and international institutions representing vital sectors worldwide.

The “Future Possibilities Index” systematically assessed readiness enablers for future possibilities across 70 countries. The index highlighted that the future possibilities for key sectors could potentially contribute more than $44 trillion by the year 2030.

The latest Index disclosed the leading countries in the overall ranking for the current year, with the United Kingdom securing the top spot, followed by Denmark, the United States, and the Netherlands. The UAE, excelling globally in 20 indicators, claimed the 23rd position worldwide and led the Arab world in the overall Future Possibilities Index (FPI) ranking.

Minister Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi commented, “Emerging trends present novel opportunities for nations, governments, and businesses to enhance their performance, contributing to economic growth and providing new prospects for future generations. The anticipated value of the future possibilities we are exploring exceeds $44 trillion by the year 2030.”

Holloway emphasized, “The Future Possibilities Index (FPI) directs attention to significant opportunities on the horizon for both nations and businesses in the coming years. While these opportunities come with inherent risks, the most substantial risk lies in overlooking them and forfeiting the potential for trillions of dollars in added value. The FPI serves as a structured framework for evaluating long-term investment priorities, urging decision-makers in both the private and public sectors to carefully consider pathways that foster human development and sustainable progress on a global scale.”

Drzeniek remarked, “The Future Possibilities Index offers a fresh perspective on the future growth and competitiveness of nations, examining them through the prism of six continuous transformations and the opportunities that stem from them. By leveraging data, we can identify countries that are effectively capitalizing on these ongoing transformations and those that may be lagging behind. It’s promising to witness certain emerging markets making significant strides, yet concurrently, there’s a risk that less developed countries may struggle to keep pace as these transformations progress.”

Prospects for Future Economic Development

The six transformative trends present significant economic opportunities on a global scale. The first trend, labeled “Exabyte Economy: Tech Surge,” is anticipated to generate a total value of $17 trillion by 2030. This surge is attributed to the rapid development of technological solutions, driven by the widespread adoption of 5G technology and the continual increase in communication speeds.

The second trend explores the societal shift towards experiences and personalized services tailored to evolving customer needs within the realm of the Experience Economy: Beyond the Tangible. The value of the experience-based economy is projected to surpass $17 trillion by 2030. This surge is fueled by individuals’ inclination towards enjoying life experiences over traditional product purchases, driven by advancements in tourism and increasingly sophisticated and efficient virtual reality experiences.

The fourth trend, “Circular Economy: Closing the Loop on Sustainability,” is set to pave the way for market possibilities estimated at $4.5 trillion. Increased public awareness of the significance of environmental preservation and waste reduction, coupled with the promotion of rational resource utilization, is anticipated to unlock new opportunities within the circular economy and recycling sector in the future.

The fifth trend centers on the Net Zero Economy: The Pursuit of Sustainable Prosperity, with an anticipated value surpassing $4 trillion by 2030. This projection is driven by the growing inclination of various sectors to invest in energy-saving technologies, including batteries, electric vehicles, and energy-efficient buildings, among others.

The sixth trend addresses the BioGrowth Economy: Nurturing Nature for Progress, encompassing innovations in new-generation biomaterials and advanced agricultural systems. This trend is poised to catalyze the emergence of novel possibilities across various global sectors, with a value surpassing $1.7 trillion related to biotechnology. The swift advancements in biomaterials, plant science, and synthetic biology are anticipated to yield significant breakthroughs in critical fields, including fuel refining, among others.

Worldwide Data and 5,000 Business Executives

The Future Possibilities Index assesses countries’ capacity to harness the potential of emerging transformations for future growth. This evaluation is conducted across three key readiness dimensions: Government Strategy and Policy, examining the leadership role of government strategy, policy formulation, and implementation in driving transformation; Industry Strength, gauging the nation’s ability to leverage the trend through industry-specific criteria, including sector establishment, innovation levels, and growth potential; and Core Capacity, measuring the country’s preparedness in terms of structures such as policies, institutions, and other factors to seize advanced opportunities presented by each trend.

The FPI utilizes indicators sourced from reputable sources, including the ITU, WIPO, World Economic Forum, and World Bank, alongside newly developed indicators specific to this project. Additionally, indicators have been crafted for emerging domains such as data policies and artificial intelligence. The Future Possibilities Survey, capturing insights from over 5,000 business executives across covered countries, adds a qualitative dimension by gauging opinions on government policy and the potential of countries to capitalize on emerging trends. The selection of countries is based on criteria like developmental level, access to high-quality data, and the feasibility of ensuring robust survey results.

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