SMEs major focus area in UAE economic plan: Mansoori - GulfToday

SMEs major focus area in UAE economic plan: Mansoori


Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori and Dr Michael M Crow during the signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi.

The Ministry of Economy has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Arizona State University (ASU) in the field of innovation and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The MoU was signed by Engineer Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy and Dr Michael M Crow, President of Arizona State University.

The MoU forms part of the Ministry’s efforts to develop international cooperation in various fields related to innovation and entrepreneurship, in addition to facilitating technology transfer, and enhancing diversification and competitiveness of the national economy by increasing the role of SMEs in development. These efforts in turn enhance the UAE’s position as a leading global hub in the field of innovation. Against this backdrop, the MoU with ASU becomes the latest in a series of agreements the UAE has signed with many international partners, including South Korea, Sweden, Italy, Canada, Japan and China.

Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori said that encouraging entrepreneurship among citizens and supporting SMEs in the UAE are major focus areas in the economic policy pursued by the country. He emphasised that the Ministry continues its efforts to further enhance the environment for entrepreneurship in the country and expand international cooperation in this vital field by developing channels for the exchange of experiences and knowledge and facilitating access to global best practices in the development of SMEs.

He added that the MoU signed with ASU is of great significance as it presents an important opportunity for business leaders and owners of SMEs in the country to benefit from the pioneering experiences of the University and its partners in the private sector in various fields related to innovation. These include technology, business development and progress in the field of inventions and the MoU, in particular, covers an array of priority sectors on the UAE’s economic agenda and innovation strategy, such as renewable energy, space and technology, and cooperation in food research and health care.

The MoU will enable the concerned parties to establish joint projects in the fields of cooperation agreed upon in the UAE and the USA. In addition, it will help Emirati inventors and young entrepreneurs to test and develop their innovative ideas, inventions and projects in cooperation with ASU and benefit from the University’s extensive experience in these fields. They will also be able to participate in training programs for citizen inventors in both the United States and the UAE.

A number of areas of cooperation were identified to be covered under the terms of the MoU, including the sectors of technology, education, health care, sustainability, innovation, renewable energy, water, space exploration, exchange of experiences, training. Furthermore, Emirati entrepreneurs will be able to benefit from the University’s ‘International Future Laboratory,’ which focuses on sustainability; food security, water and energy; as well as the ‘SkySong’ innovation programme for technology transfer, patents and Artificial Intelligence. The Ministry will coordinate with all federal and local authorities, universities and the private sector in the country to implement the MoU and achieve its goals.

Separately, in a bid to strengthen the UAE’s international relations, Obaid bin Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, met on Monday with the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the ministry’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori, Governor of the UAE Central Bank, was also present at the meeting.

Al Tayer expressed his keenness to increase cooperation between the UAE and the United States in all fields of mutual interest, particularly the financial and investment sector.

“The Ministry of Finance is keen to strengthen the nation’s relations with the United States, as well as their strategic partnership and prospects of joint cooperation, in order to discuss and identify potential financial opportunities in the two countries that would promote sustainable economic growth,” he affirmed.

The two sides noted that there are great opportunities for the UAE and the United States to enhance cooperation between them, and to explore new and promising opportunities in various fields of mutual interest, stressing the importance of strategic partnerships in promoting the growth and prosperity of the region.

The bilateral trade between the US and UAE amounted to $24.38 billion in 2019, making the UAE the largest export market in the Middle East for the US.


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