UAE ensures flexible economic strategy in post-COVID years - GulfToday

UAE ensures flexible economic strategy in post-COVID years


Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi called upon GCC members to strengthen their joint action for addressing various economic issues of growing importance. WAM

Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, on Sunday chaired the 59th meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Commercial Cooperation Committee, under the framework of the UAE’s presidency of the current session of the GCC.

The meeting, which was held via videoconferencing on Sunday, with the participation of Nayef Al Hajraf, Secretary-General of the Council, and GCC ministers of trade.

In his speech during the meeting, Al Zeyoudi called upon GCC members to strengthen their joint action and develop mechanisms for addressing various economic and commercial issues of growing importance, given the changes witnessed by the entire world caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which have also created a range of new opportunities and business practices.

“We are currently witnessing growing global interest in more efficient and flexible economic models that rely on technology, and governments are now looking to adopt more open, fast and efficient trade policies, customs and logistical procedures that will ensure the continuity and growth of supply chains under all circumstances,” he added.

Al Zeyoudi also pointed out that many countries have drafted long-term strategies aimed at promoting investment in the digital economy and the fourth industrial revolution, while encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises.

He then briefed the members of the committee about the UAE’s efforts, most notably its comprehensive and flexible package of 33 incentives aimed at supporting various economic sectors.

“Through this package, we will support economic activities and businesses, raise labour market flexibility, increase the investment attraction of added-value sectors, encourage companies operating in the digital economy, and support research and innovation-based SMEs,” he said.

He further added that the package will enable the country to shift to a more flexible and sustainable economic model in the post-COVID-19 era.

The committee discussed ways for its members to support entrepreneurs and SMEs in GCC countries, as well as their cooperation in patents, consumer protection, certificates of origin and e-commerce.

FOCUS ON TOURISM: The Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) considers tourism as the cornerstones of economic development of the country.

On World Tourism Day, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, said: “Tourism is one of the cornerstones of economic development. This is why, over the past few years, we have developed the tourism infrastructure in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, in line with the knowledge economy strategies implemented by the government. This includes enhancing the tourism workforce and encouraging more talent to contribute to the growth of the sector.”

He continued: “This year, World Tourism Day will be held under the theme of ‘Tourism and Rural Development’, emphasising the role tourism plays in creating social and economic unity and cohesion, especially in developing areas. This comes during a challenging year for the worldwide tourism sector, as the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly had its impact on the industry, presenting us with a number of unprecedented challenges”.

“We have had to approach these challenges with innovative solutions and strategies to revive the sector while maintaining the safety and well-being of our local community, which has always been our utmost priority. We also took this time to develop a number of cultural and heritage programmes, which incorporate a wealth of talent from various backgrounds and age groups. Additionally, we have worked on creating a number of ground-breaking virtual experiences to enable travellers to appreciate the best of Abu Dhabi, amidst a number of closures and travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic”, he said.

“Through this innovation and commitment, the UAE has succeeded in setting a shining example in crisis management with its globally acclaimed COVID-19 response. We have worked relentlessly alongside other government entities to launch a number of initiatives to support the tourism sector during this period and elevate the level of trust amongst our consumers to position Abu Dhabi as one of the safest destinations in the world. And today, as we prepare to welcome visitors once again, we are doubling our efforts in ensuring the safety of our destinations to guarantee our guests a safe and unforgettable experience”, he added.

Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi said: “This year’s World Tourism Day coincides with a challenging period for the sector, unlike anything previously witnessed. The biggest challenge for us was to support and revitalise the tourism sector in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, while also ensuring the health and safety of residents and visitors”.

“Abu Dhabi has been recognised and highly praised for its efficient, persistent and rapid response to managing and containing the spread of COVID-19 through a series of initiatives developed by local government and the relevant authorities, including DCT Abu Dhabi. The implementation of stringent measures and safety guidelines helped boost consumers’ confidence towards our destination, while simultaneously revitalising the tourism sector”, he said.


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