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

Change Readiness Index

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


Partner and Head of Advisory services

KPMG Lower Gulf Limited


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Dubai, UAE; 19 July 2017: 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

2. Government Capability: the ability of governmental and public regulatory institutions to manage and influence change

3. 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.


About the Change Readiness Index
The Change Readiness Index (CRI) (view the online tool) covers 136 countries. The CRI is structured around three pillars (Enterprise capability, Government capability, People & Civil Society capability), that signify a country’s underlying ability to manage change. The CRI is built on extensive research and analysis, from primary source data and from nearly 1,400 experts and secondary sources ranging including from the World Economic Forum, World Bank International Monetary Fund and United Nations.

About KPMG’s International Development Assistance Services (IDAS) practice
KPMG’s IDAS professionals are among the most experienced providers of services to the public and development sectors in countries and regions where economies and finances are emerging. With local expertise worldwide, KPMG IDAS professionals work closely with emerging market stakeholders – government, civil society and private sector – to create sustainable change and effective, accountable service delivery. KPMG’s IDAS practice encompasses services in four major areas: Enhancing Impact, Ensuring Value-for-Money, Driving Accountability, and Advancing Service Delivery. For more information, please visit:

About KPMG International
KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 152 countries and have more than 189,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

© 2019 KPMG Lower Gulf Limited, registered in the UAE and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. Printed in the United Arab Emirates. The KPMG name, logo and “cutting through complexity” are registered trademarks or trademarks of KPMG International.

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