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UAE’s reputation is on the rise, according to the Global Soft Power Index

March 1, 2022
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Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Wisconsin companies may want to consider seeking export partners in the United Arab Emirates as it gains respect and attention worldwide.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the best brand of the countries in its region, according to the 2022 Global Soft Power Index.

The index—conducted by Brand Finance, an internationally recognized consultant firm—measures worldwide perceptions of a nation’s brand. It surveys 100,000 people for their opinions about 120 countries.

UAE ranked 15th worldwide, up from 17th a year ago. That is the highest ranking among countries in the Middle East and north Africa, ahead of Israel, in 23rd place, and Saudi Arabia, 24th.

In the category of business and trade, UAE was in the global top 10, rating fourth for being business-friendly and eighth for having a strong and stable economy. UAE also ranked highly for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and its influence in diplomatic circles.

“The UAE is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic strong, with its trade and investment prowess underscored by the success of the EXPO 2020 exhibition in Dubai,” said David Haigh, Brand Finance chairman and CEO.

EXPO 2020, postponed because of the pandemic, was held in Dubai from October 2021 through March 2022. The theme was “Connecting minds, creating the future,” and exhibits focused on opportunity, mobility and sustainability. The six-month event recorded more than 24 million visitors.

Meanwhile, UAE’s finance ministry said it will implement a 9% corporate tax starting June 1, 2023, that will apply to profits of more than $102,900. Corporate taxes in other nations in the region range from 10% in Qatar to 20% in Saudi Arabia; Bahrain does not have a corporate tax except on the oil and gas sector. UAE and Saudi Arabia were the first countries in the region to impose a value-added tax in 2018 and an excise tax in 2017.

Brand Finance, in its report released in March 2022, said that in future years, the new UAE tax may temper its global reputation for being business-friendly.

Wisconsin companies thinking about exporting to UAE may find encouragement in the Soft Power Index report, but also should be aware of the future taxes.



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