Innovation will drive the UAE's evolution: Top official
Human capital important to help drive innovation forward, Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi says at Global Investment Forum 2021
The success of a knowledge-based economy lies in how well the entrepreneurial ecosystem allows for risk and experimentation, said Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, director general of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office.
Speaking at the Global Investment Forum 2021, he briefed attendees on how the UAE had established itself as a leader in attracting highly successful entrepreneurs.
“I think when you look at the public sector and its role in helping to drive innovation and technology, you also have to look at how nascent the market is,” he said.
“We have to de-risk the environment and the ecosystem to make sure that people want to experiment, and that the R&D that occurs as a result can drive innovation so you can ultimately create a knowledge-based economy.”
He added: “It is important to have capital, but you also have to have the human capital to help drive innovation forward; and the only way to bring that human capital here and to nurture it is to make sure that you keep driving the narrative and the actual delivery on the policies that you have set.”
The facts, he said, are very clear. “We receive the most amount of FDI in the Arab world. We are ranked number one in the region when it comes to entrepreneurship. As many of you that live here know, the focus has been very much on the balance between lives and livelihoods; how we protect our economy but also make sure that we protect the number one resource that we have, which is the people that call the UAE their home. All of our initiatives revolve around funding, de-risking, how we design the right policies and regulations, how we enable the environment, and how entrepreneurs can use the UAE as a base to grow their ideas, nurture them, and expand into the wider region.”
Bin Hendi also stressed that technology is “a means to an end”, but that it is innovation that will drive the UAE’s evolution as a country. He also noted that there are several issues that have to be addressed through partnerships; these include water scarcity, food security, and job creation for the youth.
“Our leadership has taken steps to ensure that as we drive the adoption of technology and innovation to create a knowledge-based economy, we are creating new jobs for the new generation of job seekers,” he said. “A collective direction forward, with a focus on people, and diversifying the economy to make sure that it is robust and resilient is a recipe for success that the UAE has enjoyed. The recent 100 per cent foreign ownership law is a key milestone for our nation and a statement to the world that we are willing to break rules and laws and regulations that we believe will stimulate growth.”
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