New initiatives unveiled by the UAE serve as a “qualitative shift” designed to make its ecosystem more competitive, resilient and sustainable as it prepares for the next 50 years of growth, the country's minister of economy said.
The programmes underpin a “proactive approach and innovative policies", enabling the Emirates to keep pace with new economic trends, said Abdullah bin Touq, according to a report by state news agency Wam.
The initiatives were announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, UAE Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, during a visit to the ministry.
They are part of the ministry's Fifty Economy Plan that aims to double the country’s gross domestic product by 2030.
The five initiatives – an accelerator for family-owned businesses, the UAE Growth Lab, the Skill-Up Academy, the Scale-up Platform and the Investopia Investment Summit – complement other economic programmes such as the UAE Strategy for Talent Attraction and Retention, said Mr bin Touq.
They also pave the way for a “new phase of economic development in the UAE”, said Ahmad Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs.
The measures buttress government and private sector efforts to drive economic growth. The initiatives highlight the “importance of entrepreneurship in enhancing the new economic model through the Skill-Up Academy and the Scale-Up Platform" to improve the country's standing as champion of entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises, he said.
The accelerator will boost the performance of family businesses that account for about 90 per cent of private companies in the UAE. It will also support the efforts of such companies to enter new markets, develop their brands and forge partnerships, said Mr Al Falasi.
The Investopia Investment Summit and the UAE Strategy for Talent Attraction and Retention will improve the country's attractiveness as a destination for foreign direct investment and a global centre for partnerships, he said.
FDI inflows to the UAE, the Arab world's second-largest economy, surged by 44 per cent to about $20 billion in 2020 despite coronavirus-induced headwinds around the world. The country plans to double the size of its economy over the coming decade to Dh3 trillion.
The UAE economy is expected to grow by 2.4 per cent in 2021 while the size of its non-oil sector is set to expand by 4 per cent this year and in 2022.
Overall economic growth has been forecast at 3.8 per cent in 2022, according to estimates from the UAE Central Bank.
The country has also introduced a series of measures to enhance its standing as an investment-friendly destination. They include new rules that allow full foreign ownership of onshore companies from June 1, 10-year investor visas and a path to citizenship for talented people.
The Ministry of Economy and its partners are focused on amending “all economic legislation in the UAE” and significant progress has already been achieved in updating the Commercial Companies Law, the Commercial Transactions Law and the Consumer Protection Law, said Mr bin Touq.
The country in the future will unveil many “new or updated laws such as [a] family-owned companies law, co-operative societies law, commercial registry law and industrial property rights law … that will transform the economy into a more flexible, sustainable and globally competitive ecosystem”, he said.