Shedding a light on the latest economic updates of the UAE economy while raising awareness on corporate social responsibility (CSR), the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in cooperation with Pakistan Business Professional Council, the Ministry of Economy and the National Fund for Social Responsibility (CSR UAE), have organized a seminar on the UAE Economy 2022 and Beyond.
In his opening speech, His Excellency Mohamed Helal Al Mheiri, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Chamber, said that The UAE in 2022 is keen on further increasing the competitiveness of the private sector, which can achieved by implementing innovative strategies targeted at accelerating growth and economic diversification.
“Several economic development indicators point to a strong financial system and strong and resilient national economy,” he added, pointing to report released by the World Bank that projects the UAE economy to continue in its recovery course in 2022, with growth anticipated to reach 4.7% driven by oil and non-oil sectors.
The Director General noted that the financial reserves of the UAE continue to exhibit solid growth, according to the Central Bank of the UAE, which reflects the country’s robust banking system and high financial solvency, ensuring its ability to overcome any sudden shifts in the financial and economic landscape.
“SMEs today represent 94% of the total companies and institutions operating in the country and contribute more than 50% to the country's GDP, making them a key player in building a competitive knowledge-based economy.”
H.E. Al Mheiri continued by saying that the thanks to the several initiatives launched by the UAE government that fortified its position as a preferred destination for emerging businesses and startups, the UAE has retained its #1 rank in the GCC, and #22 globally in attracting FDI as per the UNCTAD.
For his part, Dr. El Hassan Jouaouine, Economic Advisor – Undersecretary’s Office, Ministry of Economy, shed light on the unique model of the UAE economy over the past 50 years, pointing to the resilience and quick responsiveness of the UAE economy in the face of COVID-19 pandemic and the UAE’s 50-year plan transition towards the “New Economy”.
Dr. Jouaouine remarked that the UAE economy has grown 7 times since 1975 and that the country was ranked #7 in GNI per capita in 2019.
Concerning the resilience and quick responsiveness of the UAE economy, Dr. Jouaouine pointed to a range of preventive measures taken by the government to limit the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the economy by launching a economic stimulus package of AED 388 billion as well as The implementation of the flexible packages within the 33-initiative plan to support key economic sectors and build a more flexible and sustainable economic model.
Ms. Noha Mohammed Al Harmoudi, Director of the CSR UAE Fund, said that the Fund plays a pivotal role in making the UAE a world example of CSR, adding that the CSR UAE Fund is a federal authority that setS the framework and governance for Corporate Social Responsibility in the UAE while managing and directing contributions from the business sector towards National Priority initiatives.
“CSR UAE Fund has metrics in place to rank and reward active businesses in CSR on a country level. Furthermore, it is an enabler for relevant authorities to enhance and regulate socially responsible practices within corporations and business entities,” she explained.
Ms. Al Harmoudi added that the mission of the Fund is to establish a platform that encourages the business sector to actively engage in socially responsible practices that lead to a positive economic, social and environmental impact in line with the UAE's priorities and sustainable development goals.
In his closing remarks, Dr. S. Qaiser Anis, President of Pakistan Business Professional Council, praised that achievements of the UAE over the past 50 years including an advanced infrastructure, hosting Expo 2020 Dubai, initiating Baraka Nuclear Energy Plant, The Launch of the UAE Space Agency, and attracting people from more than 192 Countries to work and live in the UAE to name just a few.
Dr. Anis also spoke of foreign direct investment and that the UAE is ranked first in FDI inflows in West Asian Countries as well as the MENA region.
He also spoke of the positive changes in the UAE financial sector and the establishment of HUB71, saying that the aggregate valuation of Hub71 startups soared to AED 5.87 billion, with close to 1,000 jobs created since its inception in 2019.
He also listed some of the UAE’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) including the provision of quality education, enforcing gender equality, and improving clean water and sanitation among others.