Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been ranked in the top 10 countries in the 2022 Belt and Road Infrastructure Development Index (BRIDI) jointly issued by China International Contractors Association and China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation.
Saudi Arabia took the fifth rank on the list of 71 countries in the index, rising six places at a score of 122.
On the other hand, the UAE took 10th place, down two spots on the index, with a score of 117.
Qatar was placed 21st, losing two ranks, while Kuwait took the 28th rank, shedding three places.
Oman took the 47th rank, down one place, on the index. Bahrain came in last on the index, down four notches, with a score of 95.
Indonesia has ranked first on the index, followed by the Philippines and Malaysia.
According to the report, the BRIDI rebounded slightly, to 114 in 2022 from 113 in 2021, driven by higher demands for infrastructure construction in BRI countries. However, the overall index was still below the pre-pandemic level of 119 in 2019.
The report said that development costs have been growing for three consecutive years and have become the main drag on Belt and Road infrastructure development.
The political and business environments in ASEAN countries have continued to improve, leading to a high ranking on the infrastructure development index, China International Contractors Association President Fang Qiuchen said in a statement.
The report said the momentum of the development of transportation infrastructure remains strong. On the other hand, developments in communications, water infrastructure and public health have shown new characteristics – intelligent technologies, shrunk scales, and socialised investments.
The report also noted that the pace of infrastructure development in Portuguese-speaking countries accelerated, bringing them to second rank on the index.
(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)