Eco-friendly development - GulfToday

Eco-friendly development

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Staff Reporter, Gulf Today

Abdullah Ali Ateeq Al Sabousi, UAE Ambassador to Australia, has said that Expo 2020 Dubai promotes international cooperation in drafting a global action plan to achieve sustainable development.

In an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Al Sabousi highlighted the importance of the UAE’s hosting of Expo, a platform for promoting the country’s overall capacities and potential, most notably in the economy, technology and culture.

He then pointed out that the selection of the UAE to host Expo underscores the confidence in its ability to lead global collective action and generate creative solutions to address challenges in various areas, including peace, security, humanitarian aid and climate change, in addition to the transformation of the country’s economy to a knowledge-based one.

These are the advantages that enabled the UAE to become an international model of achieving sustainable development.

Speaking about the role of Expo 2020 Dubai in drafting a global action plan for international cooperation, Al Sabousi affirmed that the major global event is an ideal opportunity to promote international cooperation in cultural, social and commercial areas. He stressed that Expo would encourage communication between countries.

He stated that the coronavirus pandemic made the world reassess existing economic and commercial systems and drove the process of digital transformation, as well as highlighting supply chain risks.

The UAE Ambassador also pointed out the significant role of Expo 2020 Dubai as a comprehensive platform for uniting humanity on the grounds of compassion, peace and coexistence. He noted that more than 200 pavilions representing 192 countries and international organisations were present at the expo, and this diversity embodied the values of peace, coexistence and tolerance.

Speaking about the event’s key role in preparing leaders and motivating them to pursue excellence and innovation, he said that the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, always believed that the youth were the active force that would create a bright future for the country, noting the gratitude for the country’s leadership vision which aims at empowering and motivating the youth.

Expo 2020 Dubai is a key platform for establishing sustainable development standards in economic, environmental and social areas, which will create job opportunities for the youth.

On climate change, which is the core topic of Expo, he affirmed that addressing climate change is one of the UAE’s priorities. It recently launched a strategic initiative to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, adding that the country’s sovereign funds are being invested in financing and establishing clean energy projects worldwide.

Meanwhile, Dr Zamir Iqbal, Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), today rang Nasdaq Dubai’s market-opening bell to celebrate the listing of a US$ 1.7 billion Sukuk on the region’s international financial exchange. The listing strengthens the IsDB’s position as the largest supranational Sukuk issuer on Nasdaq Dubai with a total value of $18.8 billion through 13 issuances listed on the exchange since 2016.

The bell-ringing ceremony was attended by Hamed Ali, CEO of Nasdaq Dubai and Deputy CEO of the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), as well as other senior executives from both sides.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Iqbal said, “We are pleased to see our relationship with Nasdaq Dubai growing stronger with this new listing of our landmark Sukuk issuance, which reaffirms IsDB’s commitment to mobilise sustainable capital flows on the back of our top-tier AAA-rating and provide cost-effective financing for our Member Countries’ recovery from the pandemic. We would like to thank Nasdaq Dubai for providing an international platform for our Islamic debt securities and our investors who continue to subscribe to our Sukuk issuances and place their trust in IsDB’s mission of sustainable social and economic development.”

CEO of Nasdaq Dubai, in turn, said, “We are committed to the continuous progression of Nasdaq Dubai’s regulations and services to support prominent issuers in implementing their financing and growth plans and linking them with regional and international investors who are seeking lucrative investments in this sector.”

This issuance is the second listing by the Islamic Development Bank on Nasdaq Dubai in 2021, as the Bank listed its second Sustainability Sukuk issuance of $2.5 billion in April 2021, fortifying Dubai’s position as one of the largest Sukuk listing venues globally, with a total value of $80.1 billion. It has also increased the total value of fixed income listings on the exchange to $108.8 billion.

The 5-year Sukuk issuance of IsDB attracted more than $2.4 billion worth of orders. Proceeds of the Sukuk will be utilised for the development mandate of the Bank, which also includes its wide-ranging response to financing the recovery from the pandemic for its Member Countries.

Meanwhile, Liana Technologies, a software service provider, welcomed VIP guests to the Finland Pavilion at Expo2020 Dubai, during The Future of MarTech VIP Day. The event focussed on wellbeing in the workplace, what organisations can expect in the future of MarTech and why digital transformation is now more crucial than ever before.

Tomi Saikkonen, Vice President of Liana Technologies said: “The pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone, however, there were two positive things which came from it. The first is organisations realising how important people are to get the job done. There isn’t room to compromise on employee wellbeing anymore. The second is the adaptation of modern technology. This is an important conversation to have now as it’s shaping the future of work and operations.”

Mikael Vainio, Managing Partner of Hintsa Performance, presented on “Leading Wellbeing.” During his presentation, Vainio discussed how work has evolved through the industrial revolutions. Industry 4.0 requires employees to have higher cognitive flexibility in order to continuously adjust to complex tasks, and reskilling themselves to remain relevant in their career. The Future of Jobs and Skills report by The World Economic Forum estimates 65 per cent of children entering primary school today will work in jobs that don’t exist yet.

The stress of today’s work environment and lack of employee wellbeing focus, is starting to show. DDI’s Global Leadership Forecast found 60 per cent of leaders present strong indicators of burnout, with an additional 40 per cent of employees struggling with mental health issues due to the pandemic.

Vainio said: “There is a direct correlation between wellbeing and productivity of employees. Moreover, there is also a clear link between personal wellbeing and company performance. Investing in employee wellbeing is no longer a luxury, but rather a must.” In its study, ‘The Impact of Excellent Employee Wellbeing’ O.C. Tanner Institute found investing in wellbeing resulted in 19 per cent higher productivity, 89 per cent better engagement and 50 per cent lower costs associated with absenteeism.

This was followed by a presentation on “The Future of MarTech” by Robert J. Webb, Executive Advisor of TBM. Webb highlighted the importance of digital transformation in today’s business climate. In its annual Digital Pulse survey, Russell Reynolds Associates found 90 per cent of organisations feel digitisation is disrupting their industry; however, according to the 2020 Future of Leadership Global Executive Study and Research Report, only 13 per cent of organisations feel ready to compete in the digital economy. Deploying digital technology provides a competitive advantage to organisations with an average of 10 per cent revenue gain and 15 to 25 per cent cost reduction over a two-to-three-year period found McKinsey Global Institute.

Webb argued that legacy is a hindrance in digital transformation with datasets siloed in different departments. Organisations will need to implement a broad systematic redesign to utilise the data effectively. It starts with having the right people with the right mindset and skillset. The next step is to think about how you clean the data and deploying the right tools to drive insights and actions. This will enable organisations to understand their customers better and improve the customer journey. Focusing on individual touchpoints isn’t enough as 25 per cent of customers will defect after just one bad experience.

Webb said: “Digital transformation is no longer a “nice to have” for organisations but a must. The key to successfully deploying digital transformation is to slow down. Companies are under so much pressure to cut costs, increase performance and drive sales which causes leaders to default to survival mode. This affects their cognitive ability to think innovatively. Slowing down allows leaders to think rationally, plan and strategically implement solutions that would most benefit the organisation.”

Liana Technologies is an exhibition partner of the Finish Pavilion at Expo2020 Dubai and is one of more than 110 companies and 40 partners representing Finnish innovation and technological know-how.

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