Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development has settled all eligible private sector claims for government payments that were registered through its Sharaka platform as part of its efforts to support businesses facing pandemic-driven challenges.
The department cleared the claims by private companies until the end of the first quarter of this year, it said in a statement released by the Abu Dhabi Media Office on Sunday.
All eligible dues for the 12 months to the end of March 2021 were settled within 15 days instead of 30, as instructed by Abu Dhabi's Executive Council.
The move reflects the government’s efforts “to speed up the process of settlement and payment of the private sector companies’ dues that are submitted through the Sharaka platform”, as part of the economic stimulus package announced last year, said Mohammed Al Shorafa, chairman of Added.
Sharaka, an initiative of Abu Dhabi’s Dh50 billion Ghadan 21 stimulus programme, was set up to speed up payments owed to private sector companies by government departments in a bid to to bolster relationships with the public sector. It is now a permanent online platform with its own dedicated staff and will provide long-term support to private sector companies.
Sharaka will increase the private sector’s contribution to the emirate’s gross domestic product and will help in strengthening Abu Dhabi’s global position as a preferred centre for business and investments. It has already helped private companies from sectors including infrastructure, safety, tourism, culture, health, community development, environment, education and manufacturing in getting their payments cleared, Added said.
“By supporting the settlement of undisputed payments, Sharaka enhances private sector growth by improving ease of doing business in the emirate, which in turn helps motivate the private sector … [to drive] Abu Dhabi’s local economy,” it said.
The department is working with Abu Dhabi’s Economic Collaboration Committee to study challenges facing the private sector after the pandemic-driven slowdown, Mr Al Shorafa said.
The goal is to develop methods to soften the impact on businesses that have faced challenges since the onset of the pandemic last year, he pointed out.
Abu Dhabi's economy is expected to grow between 6 and 8 per cent over the next two years, driven by government spending, financial services and foreign direct investment, Mr Al Shorafa said earlier this year.