Sultan attends UAE Economic Planning Forum
His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and HH Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Price, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Executive Council, attended the fifth session of UAE Economic Planning Forum “UAE EPF” on Wednesday 21st of November 2018. This Forum was held in Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre under the slogan “Future Economy Accelerators... Knowledge... Innovation.. and Developing Human Cadres”. The Forum was organized by Sharjah Economic Development Department “SEDD”, with the strategic support of the Ministry of Economy and the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi. This Forum aimed to promote the integration of all emirates in the field of economic planning and to discuss best ways to boost economic growth and enhance the competitiveness in UAE.
The Forum was attended by number of sheikhs, as well as HE Eng. Sultan Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, HE Sultan Abdullah bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, SEDD Chairman, HE Saif Mohammed Al Hajeri, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, number of ministers, heads of local and federal departments, and number of officials.
The Forum began with the national anthem followed by a film about economic development in emirate.
Commenting on such event, HE Eng. Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said that having the Forum in Sharjah this year is an ideal opportunity to highlight the economic growth and developments in the emirate in various fields under the vision of HH and how it became a key player in the development of UAE economy and in in the area of increasing its diversity and sustainability.
HE Al Mansouri carried on that through the sessions in the Forum, the Ministry and other concerned parties, we will be able to consolidate mutual plans and efforts to develop sustainable economic growth prospects for the future emirates. Then, he added that the concentration on the government accelerator model is a unique opportunity. Such a thing helps to highlight the importance of Accelerators as an innovative platform for activating sound economic planning and benefiting from its practices in promoting the integration of stakeholders for the sustainable development that is based on knowledge, innovation and human building.
After that, Al Mansouri stated that strategic planning has always been one of the main pillars of UAE's development since it was placed. He clarified that such planning is an approach placed by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the other rulers.
He carried on that under the wise leadership of HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the Rulers of all other emirates, the country pays attention to foreseeing future and adopting a sound strategic planning process in all fields.
Thus, he continued that the leadership awareness of the importance of planning has been demonstrated in many vital areas, such as education, health and infrastructure. He added that there is no doubt that strategic planning in the economic sector has been one of the priorities of the future visionary efforts that the leadership places great attention on, which is displayed clearly through the remarkable economic and developmental achievements accomplished by the country in a relatively short period of time.
In addition, Al Mansouri emphasized on the fact that the country is following a clear plan and integrated development strategies to achieve needed goals and build a future economy. Likely, he mentioned that the efforts placed in planning for the economy is an ongoing process and is continuously evaluated and developed. He stated that the determinations of UAE’s 2021 vision, the post-oil economy plan, the UAE's 2071 percent, national strategies in areas such as innovation, artificial intelligence, energy, etc. are all part of the country’s plan and vision hat shape the development process of UAE over the coming years and decades.
Then, HE Sultan Abdullah bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, SEDD Chairman, gave the opening speech. HE expressed his thanks and appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for his generous patronage of the Forum and his unlimited support for the economic and social development of the emirate of Sharjah. He also thanked the Ministry of Economy and the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi as well as all partners for their efforts to make this Forum a success.
During his speech, HE SEDD Chairman pointed out that UAE Economic Planning Forum that is held in Sharjah this year discusses international, regional and local economic challenges. But it also places great aspirations and hopes at the country’s level, including diversifying the economy, anticipating sustainable development standards, raising the knowledge and innovation component of society and enhancing the competitive position of the economy. He carried on that it should have an economic and social values and pays attention to the continuous development of intelligent infrastructure and the stimulation of the locomotive sectors in the economy. Then, he stressed on the importance of providing job opportunities to the citizens that are based on sustainability and continuous development of the innate and innovative capabilities of such citizens.
Then, HE illustrated that the economic and developmental challenges that have passed through the country, have passed through the emirate of Sharjah too. Such thing required the Department to double the effort to increase the GDP, which achieved growth in the emirate of 4.7% at current prices last year. He carried on that Sharjah adopts a model that applies the concept of "economic balance" as an alternative to the concept of "economic growth," as no sector occupies more than 20% of the GDP of the emirate. He added that it also focused on social and personal development in the GDP of the Emirate While the industrial sector grew by 7.5%, an indicator of the emirate's interest in the human dimension of development. He clarified that the Department has invested in human capital through many programs and activities such as program of leadership, training of about 100 students, as well as sending employees to Japan, Korea and Spain. Also, it has supported the application of tax rates in the country, the creation of markets and the consumer and the formation of Commercial Officers and teams to protect consumers.
Besides, HE SEDD Chairman said that according to the wise directives of HH Ruler of Sharjah, to support economic work for citizens, the Department released excellence marks for national pilot projects, and more markets and economic activities for citizens have been integrated. He clarified that the growth rate of the leading licenses for citizens was the highest of all types of business licenses last year in the emirate with a growth rate of 16%. Likely, the Department worked with various universities and colleges such as the University of Sharjah and the Higher Colleges of Technology in a program that supported the knowledge-based economy and trained the students to prepare economic studies, thus to pread the idea of economic development among youth.
On the other hand, HE Saif Mohammed Al Hajeri, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, illustrated that having Sharjah as the host for the Forum is important in the path of sustainable economic development of UAE under the guidance of the wise leadership. Such thing helped in attaining government accelerators and transferred them into successful initiatives and projects that meet the vision of UAE 2021.
Also, Al Hajeri added that Abu Dhabi Government is paying attention to economic planning in order to diversify its local economy by implementing a series of plans and programs in full coordination with the private sector. He added that the plans and programs culminated in a significant jump in the contribution of non-oil sectors to the real GDP of the emirate, which increased from 41.8% in 2008 to 52% during the second quarter of 2018, while the real GDP of Abu Dhabi exceeded 785.5 billion dirhams in 2017. He carried on that this year's indicators indicate that non-oil real GDP grew at a rate of 2% during the second quarter. Such thing is based on the keenness of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE's Armed Forces, whom called for not having Abu Dhabi’s economic growth depending on global and regional economic growth. HE stated that HH launched Abu Dhabi Program for Development Accelerators "Tomorrow 21" with a budget of 50 billion dirhams for the next three years, including 20 billion spent during the year 2019. This program aims to promote Abu Dhabi’s competitiveness, its leadership and accelerate development through four main topics: business and investment, knowledge and innovation, lifestyle, and society.
After that, HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, honored strategic partners and sponsors of UAE Economic Planning Forum.
From his side, HE Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of Dubai Department of Economic Development, emphasized on the importance of holding the fifth session of UAE Economic Planning Forum that is entitled “Future Economy Accelerators... Knowledge... Innovation.. and Developing Human Cadres”. He also stressed on the benefits of organizing the Forum, which helps in discussing the most important issues that face the country and review the strategic and quality initiatives that have been implemented and developed recently.
Al Qamzi added that the national agenda that were launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai in January 2014. The agenda included goals and projects in the sectors of education, health, economy, security, housing, infrastructure and government services. These objectives constitute a major challenge for local and federal governments whereas the achievement of them depend mainly on the integration of emirates and effective coordination between their economic services and the federal government too.
Likely, Al Qamzi stressed on the importance of economic planning to achieve the accelerators of the economy through innovation and knowledge aimed at building and developing human capacities in order to accelerate the achievement of the national agenda for UAE 2021 vision that is based on the principle of citizen first.
In addition, he carried on that the usage of new technology and good design practices in Dubai’s economy is as important as research and innovation. Also, he stated that all of this will be achieved by making smart technology and innovation available in all industries which will enhance competitiveness of Dubai’s economy and UAE’s as well. Thus, it will contribute in elevating Dubai's position as a global financial and business hub as well as a preferred destination for foreign investment.
Then, HE Ali Essa Al Nuaimi, Director General of Ajman DED, emphasized that UAE EPF is an important strategic platform to exchange national experiences and visions in the area of economic planning. He added that the Forum aimed to serve he strategic direction towards driving economic growth and diversification, leading UAE to the ranks of the most competitive economies in the world.
He continued that the Forum embodies the efforts of the Ministry of Economy, Economic Development Departments, and the concerned authorities in the country to achieve government integration in the development of economic planning frameworks in line with the general economic trends of UAE.
Also, He stated that they’re looking forward to the recommendations of the Forum which will enhance the level of strategic planning and development, in line with the objectives of 2021 vision.
Additionally, Dr. Abdulrahman Alshayeb Al Naqbi, General Director of the Department of Economic Development in Ras Al Khaimah, said that the Forum reflects the keenness of all government agencies to strengthen cooperation between them in order to provide the best services to the business sector. Such thing will help to enhance its competitiveness and improve its efficiency and performance.
Then, he added that RAK DED has sought to be the first participant in the "Run Your Business" initiative, recognizing the importance of benefiting from the use of modern technology in providing everything that serves the business community.
Besides, he pointed out that RAK DED works hard to provide all its capabilities to develop a new licensing system that reduces the effort and time of the client to obtain the license as soon as possible from one place without the need to review all other government agencies.
Then, Al Naqbi praised the role of the organizers of the Forum and expressed his appreciation for the professional level of work placed by organizers.
On the other hand, Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Shaib Al Naqbi, Director General of the Department of Economic Development in Ras Al Khaimah, said that the workshop reflects the concerns of all government entities to strengthen cooperation and coordination to provide best service to business sector. This is done in order to enhance its competitiveness and improve its efficiency and performance. He added that Ras Al Khaimah’s Economic Department is keen on to be the first participant in the initiative “Run your Business”, recognizing the importance of benefiting from the use of modern technology in providing everything that serves the business community. In addition, Al Naqbi added that RAK DED works effortlessly to develop a new licensing system that save customers time and efforts so that they can complete their transactions fast and in one place without the need to review all other government agencies. Likewise, he praised the role of the organizers of the workshop and expressed his appreciation for the professional level in preparing the workshop too.
Additionally, HE Eng. Mohamed Obaid Bin Majed Al Aleeli, Director General of Department of Industry & Economy in Fujairah, pointed out that experience of government accelerators has become a model practice in promoting complementarity and mutual action between different sectors. HE carried on that such thing helps in transferring goals and strategies into reality thus achieving best results in record time.
HE Al Aleeli added that the Government of Fujairah is moving ahead with the implementation of the Government Accelerations through its full commitment to the implementation of the government program. Then, he said that the Department of Industry & Economy in Fujairah works continuously to reduce the dependence on oil in the GDP of the emirate, whereas it is known for its significant economic, industrial and tourism elements.
Besides, HE Al Aleeli stated that Fujairah has a modern infrastructure to support industrial and economic projects, which has enabled it to occupy an important position in the industrial sector. Likely, he carried on that the strategic location on Fujairah helped it to be a leader in many industries, especially oil and petrochemical, as well as many investment projects in the fields of industry, services, tourism and commercial promotion.
Moreover, an MOUs was signed during the Forum between Abu Dhabi DED and SEDD.
It should be noted that the Forum included four sessions that dealt with number of important topics. Also, it reviewed the improvements of national economy and its development prospects during the coming period. Likely, the Forum discussed the development plans and future initiatives that fall within UAE’s objectives and determinants of its 2021 vision.