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Empty chairs at a restaurant. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Pixabay

ABU DHABI: In yet another proof of growing investor confidence in the country’s trade sector, a total of 767 business licences were issued for setting up general trading businesses during the first nine months of 2019, according to the Ministry of Economy’s National Economic Register.

The National Economic Register (NER) is an integrated platform between the federal and local entities and one of government accelerators initiatives launched during the UAE Government Annual Meetings held in September 2017. NER serves government policies aimed at enhancing the capabilities and enablers of the knowledge-based economy and the integration and sharing of government data at the national level.

It enables government entities, businessmen, researchers and customers to get instant, accurate and comprehensive information about existing economic licences, data, statistics, activities and reports.

According to the NER’s figures, up to 740 business licences were issued for project contracting activities during the same period, while 615 licences were issued for launching hot and cold beverage services.

Nationwide, up to 554 licences were issued for setting up restaurant start-ups; 490 for traditional desserts businesses; while 398 were issued for light truck-borne material and 374 for heavy truck-borne material activities.

Retail perfumes topped the list of best performing activities with 321 business licences issued during the period; 318 licences for women’s clothing businesses; and 308 for building internal cleaning activities.

It’s noteworthy that the Central Bank of the UAE recently revised its growth forecast for the economy upward to 2.4 per cent for 2019, from an earlier projection of 2 per cent in May this year.

The economy grew by 2.2 per cent in the second quarter, with non-oil growth expanding 1.5 per cent, compared to an official estimate of non-oil growth of 0.3 per cent in Q1 by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority.