From the UAE’s side, the MoU was jointly signed by Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade and HE Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum. Image Credit: Supplied

Davos: The UAE has signed an MoU with the World Economic Forum to support the UAE’s new Trade Tech Initiative, it said on Thursday. The initiative is designed to accelerate the digitization of international supply chains, enhance customs procedures, improve developing countries’ access to the global trading system.

The agreement will support the UAE’s efforts to deliver the initiative’s four key components: a global forum to gather trade, industry and technology leaders to share best-practice; an annual research report into the trade tech landscape, real-life applications and emerging trends; a regulatory sandbox to enable companies and startups to experiment with trade-tech innovations; and an incubator for promising startups in the trade tech space.

“The Trade Tech Initiative is a crucial step in modernizing global trade, using the tools of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) to reduce the cumbersome and inefficient paper-based processes that continue to dominate supply chains,” said Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi. “International buy-in and regulatory frameworks are essential for these ideas to take root and our partnership with the World Economic Forum is a vital first step in realizing the goals of the Trade Tech Initiative.”

“In 2024, the UAE will host MC13, the leading decision-making body of the World Trade Organisation, and we are determined to build consensus over the next 12 months to begin pioneering a new era of fully digitized, operationally efficient global trade.”

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 in Davos took place under the theme “Cooperation in a Fragmented World” and brought together more than 2,700 government and business leaders to engage in constructive, forward-looking dialogues and help find solutions through public-private cooperation.