Role of business councils, firms hailed
Dubai, September 6, 2009
The crucial role played by business councils and companies in helping the UAE achieve at least 3 per cent growth despite the global economic crisis, was highlighted by the minister of foreign trade recently.
Giving a keynote speech at a special Ramadan Gala Dinner held at the Mina Al Salam Hotel in Dubai, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi outlined the steps taken by the UAE which led to its 7.4 per cent economic growth in 2008 despite the emergence of the crisis.
“We are where we are right now due to our collaboration with various organisations and individuals, many of whom are present tonight and to whom we would like to extend our utmost gratitude. To the business councils and groups, we thank you for serving as vital bridges between the business communities of our countries. To the numerous multinational organizations that have chosen UAE as their base, we promise the introduction of even more mechanisms and policies which will further enhance your productivity and reward your patronage. And to the countless other individuals who have contributed to the UAE’s progress, we look forward to achieving more with you and for you,” said Sheikha Lubna.
The event was organized by Emirates Foundation, founded in 2005 by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
The Foundation acts as the governing body of an endowment fund supported nationwide via private- and public-sector partnerships. Among its key programs is Tawteen, an initiative which supports learning and development in the UAE and empowers young Emirati men and women.
Khuloud Al Nuwais, director of projects at the Emirates Foundation, said: “Encouraging critical thinking in our youth is key to supporting the growth of the private sector, and that is the focus of the Emirates Foundation Tawteen Programme. Tawteen unlocks talent and builds career pathways to the private sector. We supply the talent pipeline for the growth of sectors and industries in line with the UAE Government strategy. And we do this in partnership with the Private Sector.
“Tawteen will be working with the Ministry of Foreign Trade to help drive the development of Emirati talent in the private sector and support regional and international trade and investment. Among other areas, Tawteen will be working with the Ministry to help young talent to seize opportunities abroad to represent the wealth of the UAE as our country’s young ambassadors,” she added.
There are presently more than a dozen business councils and groups based in the UAE that can assist international organizations in successfully engaging in business activities in the Emirates. More than 1,300 foreign company subsidiaries representing over 30 industry sectors currently operate in the country. Their presence has established the UAE as the Gulf’s most prolific global investment destination, accounting for around 60 per cent of the region’s foreign investment inflow, said a statement.
The UAE’s industrial exports alone were worth Dh46 billion in 2008, and industry experts forecast an even higher figure this year. Trade balance surplus increased 35 per cent from Dh170.85 billion in 2007 to Dh231.09 billion, it said.
The Emirates expects to post an investment income of around Dh40.6 billion in 2009 to surpass last year’s Dh30.6 billion, the statement said. – TradeArabia News Service