ABU DHABI: H.E Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy, H.E Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, and H.E Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, discussed with H.E. Sultan bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD), the economic developments in the UAE as well as future collaborative efforts to further improve the country’s business environment.
The discussion was held during the visit of the Ministers to headquarters of SEDD as part of their series of meetings with several major government entities to strengthen their cooperation and enhance support for the national economy.
During the meeting, both parties tackled possible joint efforts to raise the UAE’s global competitiveness in terms of promoting entrepreneurship supported by a dynamic regulatory environment; ensuring ease of doing business; and attracting investments to various economic sectors. They also discussed the cooperation in implementing the 33 flexible package of initiatives to support economic sectors, along with a discussion pressing economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
H.E. Al Marri emphasized on the importance of these meetings and their role in developing communication channels with various strategic partners and in the development of cooperation at the federal and local levels. These efforts support the achievement of the country’s vision and directives of the wise leadership to integrate roles of the concerned authorities in the UAE to develop the national economy, and to strengthen cooperation frameworks to implement the flexible package and the general plan of 33 initiatives to support economic sectors, under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy in cooperation with its various partners.
H.E. added: “Currently, we are spreading awareness about the 33 initiatives aimed at bringing various economic sectors to the next level. We are keen on starting fruitful dialogues with all concerned parties to listen to their suggestions and ideas in addition to working closely with them to develop a business environment that we aspire. The outcomes of the national economic development plan and related initiatives will provide the necessary support to enhance the UAE’s competitiveness.”
For his part, H.E. Dr. Al Falasi said: “Supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is one of the priority areas of the 33-initiative plan along with creation of an environment that is conducive for the empowerment of entrepreneurs and is capable of supporting their success and growth. Further, we seek to enhance the entrepreneurs’ ability to overcome challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as encourage them to adopt a sustainable business model characterized by technological innovations and digitization. Without a doubt, Sharjah is an important destination for SMEs. We look forward to fostering a stronger partnership with SEDD to achieve growth and development of the vital SME sector.”
Commenting on the meeting, H.E. Dr. Al Zeyoudi added: “By introducing the 33-initiative plan, we aim to enhance our partnerships with stakeholders, further develop the economic sectors, support the private sector, and create solutions to existing and potential challenges. The role of the private sector is essential to building a competitive economy. Sharjah has an excellent business environment that continues to attract investments to its key sectors, particularly healthcare, environmental development, transport, logistics and tourism. We are keen on promoting the country’s competitiveness in these areas and attracting more investments through our partnership with SEDD and the implementation of economic stimulus packages.”
For his part, H.E. Al Suwaidi stated: “SEDD is committed to fostering a fruitful partnership with the Ministry of Economy to achieve better integration within the government sector, keep pace with the latest local economic developments and fast-track national development. By doing so, we will take into consideration the current economic changes that require enhanced collaboration among stakeholders and increased reliance on advanced communication system and digitized infrastructure. Further, we will also ensure the highest levels of efficiency to create a more sustainable business environment in Sharjah and the UAE.”
During the meeting, SEDD shared its vision and strategic goals with the visiting Ministers, as well as its major economic initiatives. It also presented an economic analysis of the latest commercial and industrial data and developments in the emirate according to the economic sectors, and the most important laws and policies that regulate economic activities in the emirate. In addition, the Department, which currently provides 102 digital services, reviewed its achievements in the field of technological infrastructure. Furthermore, its efforts to support the Ruwad Foundation to encouraging the development of small and medium enterprises in the emirate were also reviewed.