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Bigger UAE role seen in global economic order
Issac John / 13 November 2012
The economic reality in the world today requires the UAE to play a larger role in shaping a new global economic order, as well as in powering the social development debate, UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri said on Monday.
Welcoming delegates at the World Economic Forum’s 2012 Summit on the Global Agenda in Dubai, the minister called for the formation of a partnership between rich and poor countries, large and small and medium enterprises and between global organisations and specialised organisations.
“It is essential to reinforce these partnerships with practical steps to find appropriate solution and success. Actions are needed to narrow the gap between rich and poor countries,” he said.
Al Mansouri said the summit is an ideal platform to open new horizons for cooperation between countries, peoples and cultures to contribute to providing practical solutions to the political, economic and social challenges facing the world today.
“The summit brings together more than 1,000 global thought leaders and over 88 councils who meet in the UAE annually to discuss the most pressing challenges that humanity faces. The discussions in Dubai serve as a backdrop for preparing a concrete strategy for positive change at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters next year,” the minister said.
Sharing the UAE’s spectacular growth experience, Al Mansouri said the nation’s visionary leadership has emphasised the need to prioritise the welfare and prosperity of its residents.
“We have always stressed the need to address our people’s aspirations. In fact, the wave of change that the Arab world witnessed in the past year has been led by the region’s youth population calling out for jobs, homes, education and a better lifestyle,” he said.
Al Mansouri stressed that addressing those fundamental needs, which are the central pillars of any community, has always been the UAE’s priority. “A strong and stable federation of seven emirates, we welcome the world to do business and live in harmony. We provide opportunities for personal and professional growth in an environment that is secure and open-hearted,” he said.
The minister said the UAE’s growth engines are its non-compromising commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Today, the UAE is the only Arab country defined as an ‘innovation driven economy’ in the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2012-13. Our GDP is over Dh1 trillion, and last year we recorded a growth of about four per cent, a trend that is expected to prevail this year as a result of the government’s policy of diversifying sources of income, and investment in development projects. In this context, it is worth noting that the contribution of oil to the GDP is only 29 per cent,” he said.
Al Mansouri pointed out that the UAE government ensures improved living standards and quality of life for citizens and residents of the UAE who belong to more than 200 nationalities. “The UAE is the first Arab country and 30th globally out of 187 countries to figure in the Global Human Development Report 2011 issued by the United Nations Development Programme,” he reminded.
He argued that since the inception of the UAE, the country has always remained committed to the effective contribution to regional and global level development.
“We have provided all forms of support to countries and peoples with the intention of alleviating their sufferings and enabling them to open new economic prospects. We have strived to build strong relations that pave the way for further development and prosperity to build a world that seeks cooperation, not wars and confrontation,” Al Mansouri said.
The minister stressed the need to recognise the risk of climate change and the importance of preserving the environment and building a green economy.
“Every child in this world should have the opportunity to receive quality education in a socially healthy environment. If we are seeking a world that is safe, stable and dominated by human values, competition and innovation, then we should enforce efforts to educate all the children in this world,” he said.
He called for enhanced awareness in the business sector to drive home the point that governments alone are not responsible of the development process and delivery of services to the citizens. “Social responsibility must be one of the most important mechanisms to improve the conditions of the people and contribute to the building of new values in the relationship between companies and communities.”
Al Mansouri observed that the world is witnessing rapid changes at all levels, including political, economic, commercial, media and cultural, and we must carefully study these variables. “It is here that the role of over 88 councils in this summit becomes relevant in order to provide us with the best recommendations that contribute to building the world, ending poverty and illiteracy, and seeking to build prosperous communities.”
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