Abu Dhabi: Economic Recovery Committee of the UAE on Saturday announced completion of 46 per cent of first phase of flexible package to support economic recovery.
The committee responsible for the coordination and follow up of the implementation of the economic recovery plan held its second meeting on Saturday, under the chairmanship of Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy.
Members of the committee include Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation; Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs; Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology; Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications; Abdulla Mohammed Al Basti, Secretary General of the Dubai Executive Council;SaifHadef Al Shamsi, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE; and Dr. Mohamed Rashed Al Hameli, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; with the participation of Ahmed bin Lahej Al Falasi,Director General of the Federal Customs Authority.
Review of progress
The committee reviewed the progress in implementing the 15 initiatives of the first phase, revealing that 46 per cent of their implementation has been completed so far. Major initiatives have been implemented to date, including amendments to the bankruptcy law, allocation of grants and incentives to tourism establishments, promotion of foreign direct investment (FDI) through amendments to the commercial companies law, amendments to the commercial transactions law and the decriminalization of cheques without balance, reduction of fees and taxes on the tourism sector, enhancing flexibility of labor market, the comprehensive targeted economic support plan directed by the Central Bank to enhance liquidity in the financial and banking sector in the country.
The committee was briefed on the efforts of the concerned authorities in coordinating and following up the implementation of the initiatives of this stage and enhancing their outputs. Therefore, they are keen to measure their impact in order to ensure the desired immediate support for various economic sectors and contribute to accelerating the pace of the national economy’s recovery.
The committee focused on the accomplishments under each of the six tracks of the initiatives package, which include empowerment of the new economy and development of priority sectors; opening of new markets locally and internationally; provision of financing support and facilitation of lending; tourism promotion; attraction and retention of talent; and stimulation of innovation.
The UAE Central Bank estimates an expected growth of 3.6 per cent in the country’s non-oil GDP by the end of 2021.The committee underlined the importance of further enhancing the confidence of investors and business owners in the country’s markets and increasing the competitiveness of vital economic sectors. It noted that the initiatives implemented during the past weeks, including the amendments to the Commercial Transactions Law regarding the decriminalization of cheques without balance, amendments to the bankruptcy law as well as to the Commercial Companies Law, represent important and major steps towards the achievement of this development goal, and serve as key enablers for the country’s economic advancement.
“Thanks to the unlimited support and visionary guidance of our wise leadership, the UAE has made new and important strides in supporting the national economy and accelerating the pace of recovery of various vital sectors from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The total value of economic support packages and initiatives provided by the federal and local governments since the onset of the pandemic has reached more than Dh388 billion," said Bin Touq Al Marri.
Nasser bin Thani Al Hameli, Minister of Human Resource and Emiratization said that support packages have been provided to ensure the continuity of businesses and to maintain the interests of investors, as well as to retain the existing workforce in the country’s vital sectors. These measures will therefore accelerate the growth of these sectors and will enable employers to benefit from the expertise and competencies in the labor market, in addition to enhancing family stability by tapping into the potential of those who are under family sponsorship.
Support to SMEs
Dr. Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said the committee responsible for the coordination and follow up of the implementation of the economic plan for recovery was able to make great strides in implementing the programs and initiatives of the first phase. It played a pivotal role in enabling businesses and SMEs to continue their operations.
The tracks that are being currently worked on include provision of liquidity to support businesses and facilitation of lending to drive sustainable SME growth, and initiatives to support sales and commercial success for entrepreneurs. Initiatives have also been implemented to support the tourism sector as an engine for economic recovery and sustainable growth, as grants and incentives have been provided to tourism establishments that are committed to health and safety standards and support the continuity of their business, be it hotels, restaurants or other tourism facilities.
Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, reiterated that the Committee will continue its supervisory and coordination role to facilitate the implementation of government support programs aimed at making the UAE one of the fastest recovering countries from the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. He noted that the high rate of progress to complete the first phase of the initiatives is a result of the relentless efforts of the respective working groups and the close cooperation between all the committee members.
Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, confirmed that the wise leadership’s directives to establish a distinctive approach that employ the cooperation and joint action among stakeholders further strengthens the UAE’s position as one of the best countries in the world whose economy has been fast recovering from the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic. Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, commented that the UAE’s leadership and forward-looking vision which focuses on developing digital and technological infrastructure have made the UAE one of the world’s most capable and prepared countries to face economic challenges, noting that it further strengthened the government’s readiness and ability to quickly recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
Central Bank support
Saif Hadef Al-Shamsi, Deputy Governor at Central Bank of UAE, said the Central Bank has been working in cooperation with our partners at the Committee. “We have successfully implemented the Central Bank’s comprehensive targeted economic support plan that helped the financial sector manage its liquidity and supported individual customers and companies affected by the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
More than 310,000 individual clients, nearly 10,000 small and medium enterprises, and more than 1,500 private sector companies have benefited from the loan deferral program included in the support plan. The domestic credit growth during the year until the end of October grew by 2.6 per cent.