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Abu Dhabi: The UAE Cabinet on Monday approved a general plan and agile package of 33 initiatives to support economic sector and stimulate business activity until 2021.

The new economic stimulus package was approved during the first Cabinet meeting held in person at the Presidential Palace after a series of virtual meetings since March due the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

The meeting, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is also the first Cabinet meeting after the Cabinet reshuffle last month that saw merger of ministries and departments and appointment of new ministers in a drive to create a more agile government.

"Today, I chaired the first Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace after a series of remote meetings. It is also the first meeting after the latest UAE Government formation," Sheikh Mohammed said.

The package includes 33 initiatives to be implemented until the end of 2021, covering all sectors and economic activities, through a flexible and easy-going plan for various activities to ensure the sustainability of key economic sectors, expand emerging sectors and creating new ones that support future visions based on adopting modern technology.

The new initiatives were proposed by the new Minister of Economy, Abdullah Bin Touq Al Marri, who will will head a new committee that will monitor the implementation and progress of all 33 initiatives.

Sheikh Mohammed highlighted the importance of the economic dossier. “"We have approved a flexible package and a general plan of 33 initiatives submitted by the new minister to support economic sectors and stimulate activities and businesses until the end of 2021. The aim is to create a flexible motivating business environment that provides new opportunities, encourages investment in future sectors and stimulates them with new ideas,” he said

The business stimulus package comes in light of government efforts to support the economic sector, in the wake of the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic. It aims to create stimulating business environment that encourages practicing activities in most economic sectors. The plan also aims to support and empower all stakeholders in the economic sector in order to increase growth rates in this pivotal sector.

Sheikh Mohammed stressed the importance of flexibility in decision-making during crises, as well as the dynamic work and proactive plans during extraordinary circumstances. “During crises, it is important to be faster, more active and smarter than others. The winner is the one who clinches the opportunity in exceptional circumstances,” he said.

The Cabinet also approved restructuring the Ministerial Development Council under the leadership of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, while Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, is the deputy Chairman.

The General Federal Budget Committee has also been restructured under the chairmanship of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance.

At the beginning of the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed blessed the UAE’s historical milestone marking the nation’s entry to the era of nuclear energy after its success in operating the Arab world’s first peaceful nuclear reactor at Barakah Nuclear Plant Abu Dhabi. The Vice President also congratulated the nation for its successful launch of the Hope Probe as the Arab world's first mission to Mars.

“We will continue Cabinet meetings during this summer despite exceptional circumstances,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

“Our projects will continue. The new Cabinet season begins from August, not September. Our excellence is determined by our ongoing activity. Our achievements will continue as our teams will never stop working,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

Sheikh Mohammed added, “We restructured a number of councils and issued a number of new appointments ... We also discussed the government’s structure and the most important new changes to keep pace with the national priorities for the next stage,” he said.

The Cabinet assigned Dr Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, to be responsible for attracting best talents as part of the UAE’s strategy and national policy to attract the best talents and brilliant minds to the country. The move aims to enhance the knowledge economy and develop the capabilities of science, technology and innovation in coordination with the federal and local authorities concerned.

Dr Ahmed Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises, has been tasked with reviving the tourism sector.