UAE’s Dhs282b package will boost recovery & growth across sectors - GulfToday

UAE’s Dhs282b package will boost recovery & growth across sectors


Picture used for illustrative purpose only.

Inayat-ur-Rahman, Business Reporter

In the presence of senior government officials, diplomats, CEOs, business owners and investors from the UAE’s public and private sectors, the sixth edition of the Sharjah Economic Ramadan Majlis explored how the UAE’s economic stimulus packages have positively impacted major industry sectors, markets and businesses, and recommended response strategies to help businesses in the UAE recover from the coronavirus crisis.

Under the theme, ‘Impact of the UAE Stimulus Plan on Economic Stability and Growth’, the Majlis was convened on Wednesday on a virtual platform.

Organised by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), in collaboration with the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), the virtual majlis session focused on four key pillars – economic stimulus package and enhancement of investors’ confidence, lessons learnt from the crisis, vibrant key sectors and creative experiences, and wise vision.

The panel of speakers at the session included  Abdulla Al Saleh, Under Secretary of the Foreign Trade and Industry, UAE Ministry of Economy;  Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman, Shurooq;  Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO, Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI); and  Hussain Al Mahmoudi – CEO, Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI).

Other prominent dignitaries speaking at the virtual majlis were  Najla Al Midfa, CEO, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa);  Mohammed Abdallah, CEO, Sharjah Islamic Bank;  Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO at Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah); and  Sameh Abdulla Al Qubaisi, Deputy Director General, Abu Dhabi Investment Office.

Highlighting the comprehensive economic support packages rolled out by the UAE to fend off the impact of the coronavirus on the business sector . Abdulla Al Saleh, said, “As part of the long-term stimulus plan to speed up recovery and encourage investments, the UAE government’s economic stimulus package targeting the financial and private sector has totaled Dhs282 billion till date, and will be focused on sectors most directly affected by the pandemic including SMEs.”

 He continued: “A new committee headed the UAE Minister of Economy is charting out short, mid and long-term recovery plans including revising existing strategies to shape the future of the UAE economy,” he added.

He added: “We are living at a historical moment in human history,” said Al Saleh. “This is not only a health crisis, but the impact is being felt everywhere – business, economy, social life, culture, relations between nations, travel and tourism, and more. The pandemic has led us into a new era of working and doing business.”

Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal further reiterated the vital role of the UAE government in providing timely reassurance to the business community through the introduction of a host of stimulus packages. “The government of Sharjah has been targeting every single sector from aviation and free zones to ports, SMEs and more, as the COVID-19 impact has been felt across all sectors. Sharjah’s current three-month stimulus package is based on the existing realities and may be extended upon reviewing the situation.”

Fahad Al Gergawi noted: “This is an overall reality check for our lives, our government strategies and commitments, and our corporate policies. This government and the nation were put on virtual work mode over one weekend, and we did not falter. We are adapting to our new realities and we will come out of this stronger, not just as a nation but as one world.”

According to Najla Al Midfa, “SMEs have had a busy time in the wake of the global pandemic as despite the setbacks in certain sectors, it has also brought forth many opportunities for other sectors.”

“A bottoms-up approach is what Sheraa is focusing on to stimulate SME growth,” she added. “Our most significant initiative is the US$1 million solidarity fund launched by Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Shurooq, to help startups impacted by COVID-19. The fund will provide emergency funding in the form of grants to startups that had strong business models but are reeling under the current circumstances. The fund will also integrate start-ups through supply chains for products and services procured either by Sheraa or by its partners in Sharjah.”

On his part, Mohammad Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of Invest in Sharjah, outlined the number of initiatives the Sharjah Investors Services Centre (Saeed) has done to support investors and their needs during their “remote working” periods: “We have launched a series of initiatives to support all of our new and existing clients varying from investors and business owners in Sharjah, whose requirements vary from renewing trade licenses or arranging necessary documentations to help in their decision of changing their lines of products and services in light of the current COVID-19.”

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