Daily Archives: March 2, 2019

UAE Conference on SME discusses sector development

ABU DHABI, The 9th UAE Conference on Small and Medium Enterprises & Innovation was held in Dubai in the presence of Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and Chairman of the UAE SME Council.

Al Mansouri emphasised that the UAE’s progress in accelerating the establishment of a robust SME sector according to highest standards stands out at both regional and international levels. “This is achieved through building strategic partnerships with developed countries and establishing strong partnerships with the private sector. The support offered to small and medium-sized entrepreneurs enables them to succeed and contribute to the competitiveness of the national economy at the global level.”

The conference themed ‘SME’s Competitiveness: Smart Technologies & New Market’ was attended by Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Hessa Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, and Mariam Hareb Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security. Also attending were Pat Breen, Minister of State for Trade, Employment and Business and EU Digital Data Protection Market in the Republic of Ireland, as Ireland’s guest of honor; Eng. Mohammed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi Undersecretary of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Economy; and senior officials from the Ministry of Economy, federal and local government authorities involved in SME development, universities and private sector institutions. International participation in the Conference featured as well representatives of government and private sectors from Ireland, Finland and Sweden, in addition to a large number of UAE entrepreneurs.

Al Mansouri added that the conference aims to facilitate sharing of experiences, identify best practices followed by the participating countries, and discuss the best solutions for SMEs that target new market by focusing on smart technology solutions in trade finance, services, production and marketing . These efforts are in line with the objectives of the UAE Vision 2021 to build a diversified competitive economy based on innovation and knowledge led by competent nationals. This objective also aligns with the goals set under the UAE Centennial 2071 for the future development.

He pointed out that the contribution of the SME sector to the GDP of the country is constantly growing. In 2019, it is estimated at 53 percent, up from about 49 percent in 2019 according to the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority’s report. The federal government aims to increase this rate to around 60 per cent by 2021, underscoring the importance of this contribution in supporting the country’s economic diversification.

Pat Breen, delivered a speech highlighting the importance of economic relations between the Republic of Ireland and the UAE. He emphasized his country’s keenness to build channels of cooperation between companies and business enterprises in both countries, especially SMEs in order to discuss partnership opportunities and possible commercial activities in various fields of shared interest, particularly in the fields of services, information technology, scientific research, industry, education, engineering areas, infrastructure and food.

Breen further added that the SME sector is a key, productive area that complements economic growth. Ireland is home to many of the world’s leading companies in various fields, especially in terms of modern technologies, ICT, innovation and scientific research. He emphasized that this opens up doors to a wide range of entrepreneurs and SMEs in the UAE to explore the opportunities for cooperation and partnerships with the Irish business sector, especially because it is an important gateway to European markets Nasser Al-Hamli said during his speech that the UAE has adopted important measures to enhance the competitiveness of the SME sector as it is a priority for the government, which encourages integration of roles and partnership between different entities to ensure an ideal incubator environment for entrepreneurship. H.E highlighted the strategic partnership between the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation to promote and implement the national policy, which aims to boost entrepreneurship and self-employment and in order to increase the number of citizen entrepreneurs and to attract investors from outside the country.

Maryam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mehairi, delivered a presentation on the new economic opportunities offered by agricultural production technologies, modern technologies and advanced technological solutions that are being developed. She explained how they can complement the vision and policies of the country’s food security and the opportunities for SMEs in this important field.

Al Mehairi discussed the most important determinants of the National Food Security Strategy 2051, which aims to support the country’s transformation into a leading global center for food security based on innovation, its main objectives and the most important challenges faced by the country’s agricultural production.

Hessa Buhumaid, during her speech, shed light on the government’s active efforts to promote UAE society and enhance its productive capabilities through constant development and empowerment. Rather than relying on care and support, entrepreneurs of small and micro enterprises are encouraged, motivated and provided with all support needed to achieve success in their businesses.

Buhumaid explained that one of the most important initiatives under the supervision of the Ministry of Community Development in this regard is ‘ALSANAA’ , which supports productive families and helps them raise their productive capacities and opportunities in terms of promotion, marketing and access to various new markets at local and regional levels..

Source: Emirates News Agency

46th Session of CFM of Member States of the OIC issues Abu Dhabi Declaration

ABU DHABI, The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Heads of delegations of Member States of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), have issued the Abu Dhabi Declaration at the conclusion of the Forty-Sixth Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of Member States of the OIC held in Abu Dhabi over the last two days.

The Declaration reads as follows: 1. We, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Heads of delegations of Member States of the OIC, participating in the Forty-Sixth Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of Member States of the OIC held in Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, on 24th and 25th Jumada Al-Akhirah 1440 A.H. (1st and 2nd March 2019), 2. Valuing the leading role of the OIC in consolidating the efforts in order to strengthen the cooperation for the mutual interest of Member States in the political, economic, security, social, cultural, educational and other vital fields, 3. Confirming the commitment of Member States to the principles and objectives stipulated in the Charter of the OIC and the OIC Programme of Action, especially the relevant provisions pertaining to the consolidation and promotion of the foundations for unity and solidarity between Member States as well as with minorities and Muslim communities, 4. Remembering that The True Religion of Islam, the religion of peace, calls for the preservation of Islamic values of peace, compassion, tolerance, equality, justice, human dignity and the promotion thereof, 5. Welcoming the initiative of the UAE to hold the Forty-Sixth Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers under the motto “50 Years of Islamic Cooperation: Roadmap for Prosperity and Development”, 6. Acknowledging the importance of promoting and strengthening the ties of Islamic economic and commercial unity and solidarity between Member States in order to achieve economic integration and secure our common interests in the international arena, and striving for the promotion of the leading role of Islam in the world, while ensuring sustainable development, progress and prosperity for the peoples of Member States, 7. Confirming the necessity of enhancing the cooperation in order to achieve sustainable social and economic development which will help achieve real integration of our States in the world economy according to the principles of partnership and equality, 8. Reaffirming the importance of setting the appropriate conditions for a sound rearing of Muslim children and youth and instilling in them the Islamic values through education, in order to promote cultural, social, ethical and moral values among them, 9. Recognising that the deterioration of human, social and economic situations is one of the main challenges our countries face and that such deterioration hinders the achievement of prosperity, sustainable development and future foresight on all levels in order to ensure security and peace in our Muslim world and protect it, Declare the following: 10. We praise the efforts made by the OIC during 5 decades to preserve and protect our common interests, advocate for the fair causes of Member States, coordinate and unify efforts of the states in order to address the challenges facing the Muslim world in particular and the international community in general, as stipulated by the Charter of the OIC.

11. Affirm our commitment to respect the security, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Member States, and believe in the necessity of resolving existing and emerging litigations and conflicts through negotiation, mediation and reconciliation by adopting diplomatic solutions based on the principles of international law, and therefore, we call upon the full activation of the OIC mechanism on peace and security and the good offices of the secretary general.

12. Decide to mark the year 2019 as a golden jubilee of the 50th anniversary of the OIC, in order to enhance its presence as an international organisation and an effective partner in the stabilisation of peace, security and development in the world, and we invite all Member States to celebrate this anniversary by organising national programmes within the framework of the OIC.

13. Reaffirm that the Palestinian issue is a central issue to both the Arab and the Muslim nations, and reiterate our position to strive in order to reach a comprehensive and permanent solution and to establish an independent Palestinian State according to the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the decisions of international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative.

14. Condemn all Israeli violations against the brotherly Palestinian people, and any procedures taken by the Israeli occupation forces and aiming at changing the nature of East Jerusalem or its demography or any arbitrary steps which undermine the international efforts to reach the two-states solution and achieve peace.

15. Confirm our commitment to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and invite the international community to fulfill its commitments regarding the Palestinian issue and Palestinian refugees.

16. Condemn all forms of interventions in internal affairs of the states as such interventions are considered as a violation of the norms of the international law and the principle of sovereignty of the states.

17. Call upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to respond positively to the peaceful calls of the UAE to reach a peaceful solution which ends the Iranian occupation of the three Emirati islands, through dialogue and direct negotiations or by seeking international arbitration.

18. Affirm our commitment to preserve the unity, sovereignty and territorial independence and integrity of Yemen, and refuse any interference in its internal affairs. We reaffirm our support to the rule of constitutional law in Yemen in order to restore peace and stability in Yemen. We affirm that the political solution is the only solution to the crisis in Yemen and such solution is based on the three points of reference agreed upon as well as the Security Council Resolution 2216. In this respect, we renew our support to the efforts of the United Nations and its Special Envoy for Yemen, and assure that the coalition forces led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia entered Yemen upon official request by the legitimate government in Yemen and according to UNSCR2216.

19. Condemn all violations made by the revolutionary Houthi militia in Yemen and the continuous looping and obstruction, by this Houthi militia, of humanitarian and relief aid meant for the brotherly Yemeni population. We also strongly condemn the militia’s continuous intransigence and refusal of peace in Yemen by imposing obstacles and challenges and procrastinating the implementation of what has been agreed upon in the consultations in Sweden on December 13, 2018, and we call upon the international community and the relevant UN organs to assume their responsibilities by increasing pressure on the rebels in order for them to comply with peace and implement the Sweden agreement.

20. Confirm our unchanged commitment to preserve the sovereignty, stability and territorial unity and integrity of Syria, and affirm the necessity : to reach a political solution based on the participation of Syrian Parties, in order to fulfill the aspirations of the Syrian people, and in conformity with the Geneva declaration and the resolutions and statements issued in this regard, especially the Security Council Resolution 2245 (of 2015); to support the UN efforts to hold meetings in Geneva and reach a political settlement of the Syrian crisis; and to invite states to cooperate with the UN for a successful outcome of the Syrian negotiations in order to end the conflict and establish peace and stability in Syria.

21. Express our rejection of the continuous regional interference in the Syrian crisis, which undermine the international efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis, and express our deep concern regarding the escalation of violence in Syria and the repercussions thereof on the humanitarian situation and the safety of civilians. In this regard, we condemn the terrorist operations and crimes committed by extremist and terrorist organisations and groups against the civilians in different regions of Syria, especially in the city of Idlib.

22. Confirm the commitment to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya, and the refusal of any external interference in the Libyan affairs. We support the efforts of the Presidential Council of the Libyan Government of National Accord to restore security and stability in Libya, and we affirm that the political solution is the only solution to the Libyan crisis. We also support the efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Libya Ghassan Salama to establish national accord in Libya, and urge Member States to support the national comprehensive reconciliation in Libya, and highlight the necessity of joining international efforts to defeat terrorist groups in Libya.

23. Underline the importance for the Member States of the OIC to continue being involved in the UN system including the United Nations General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council as well as the relevant international organisations in order to respond to the large-scale human rights violations against the Rohingya Muslims, taking into consideration the latest developments in this regard.

24. Emphasise the necessity to stabilise the situation, as soon as possible, in South-East Asia and Central Asia, and in the Middle-East and North Africa as well as other areas of the Africa continent, through finding an immediate political solution to all crises and conflicts to avoid the negative and devastating impact thereof, in compliance with the principles of the UN Charter and the Charter of the OIC as well as international standards, in order to end the suffering of the affected populations and the resulting migration and displacement of the populations, within a solid principle based on the respect of the sovereignty of the states to which these populations belong, and of the territorial integrity thereof, in conformity with the international law and international agreements.

25. Emphasise the need to restore permanent peace and stability in Afghanistan as an important factor for peacekeeping and the promotion of peace, and encourage the efforts of the OIC aiming at holding an international conference of Muslim Scholars in order to achieve political reconciliation and establish peace, security and stability in Afghanistan.

26. Invite all Member States and relevant institutions of the OIC, in light of the session motto “50 Years of Islamic Cooperation: Roadmap for Prosperity and Development”, to pursue efforts to implement the imperative Programme of Action to 2025 in order to increase commercial development and technology transfer, provide an appropriate environment for investment and business, develop infrastructure and encourage Member States to set State systems that place future foresight as part of the strategic planning for health, educational, developmental and environmental sectors, provided that such systems comply with the current governmental policies, including those pertaining to national capacities, building partnerships and issuing research reports about the future of different sectors.

27. We welcome the positive initiative undertaken by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to hand over the Indian pilot as a gesture of goodwill to de-escalate tensions in the region.

28. We call upon OIC members states and concerned organisations � considering the slogan of this session – to exert sustained efforts to implement the “OIC-2025 Programme of Action” to increase trade development and technological transfer and provide an business and investment-friendly environment, to develop infrastructure and encourage member states to implement government processes to foresee the future as part of strategic planning in the sectors of health, education, development, and environment and ensure the alignment of current government policies including national skills and establishing partnerships and launching research reports about the future for various sectors.

29. On the occasion of the golden jubilee of the OIC, we call upon the Member States to translate into concrete reality the implementation of the Decennial Programme of Action to 2025, to pursue efforts for the transition to a knowledge-based economy, to encourage innovation, research and development, to promote the regulatory framework of the main sectors, and to encourage sectors with an added value in view of developing business environment and promote small and medium projects in the private sector and instill the entrepreneurship culture within groups and schools in order to provide a decent life to the people.

30. Renew the collective position of the Member States against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, express our concern regarding the danger of terrorist groups which threaten the stability, security and territorial integrity of Member States, emphasise the importance of setting the legal legislative measures aiming at the promotion of counter extremism, including combating discrimination and hatred, criminalising actions related to disdaining religions and sanctities, combating all forms of discrimination, rejecting hate speech, criminalising discrimination between individuals and groups based on religion, belief, rite, faith, sect, race, color or ethnic origin, and combating the exploitation of religion for the takfirism of individuals and groups by imposing repressive sanctions on associations and events aiming at the disdain of religions, discrimination or incitement of hate speech.

31.Affirm the conviction that extremism and terrorism are closely interlinked and that it is essential to deal with environments that foster extremism through effective approaches to address all root causes leading to extremism and what follows in terms of involvement with terrorism.

32. Highlight the importance of instilling the values of moderation, conviviality, charity and tolerance in society and promote such values as they are the main means to counter extremism lurking in Muslim communities, and contributing to the development of awareness about Islamic religion and culture by supporting constructive efforts aiming at the reformation of religious speech and restoring the merciful image of the True Religion of Islam in order to confront the conflicts of extremism and radicalism.

33. Support the initiatives of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, the Muslim Council of Elders and the World Council of Muslim Communities pertaining to the innovation of effective solutions to promote peace in Muslim communities and the importance of adapting the methodologies, social sciences and civic education through the relevant academic and educational institutions in order to raise awareness among students and protect them from falling into the trap of extremism.

34. Praise the historical initiative of the UAE for holding the ‘Human Fraternity Meeting’ in Abu Dhabi, with the participation of His Eminence Dr. Ahmad el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and His Holiness Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, which resulted in the signing of the historical document on February 4, 2019, a declaration of good and honest intentions to call upon all those who have faith in God and in human fraternity to come and work together for this document to be proof, for the next generations, taking them to a culture of mutual respect, where they recognise the divine blessing of fraternity between all human kinds.

35. Praise the initiative of the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to name the year 2019 as a Year of Tolerance in the UAE, and decide to mark the date of 11th March of each year as a day of tolerance in all Member States of the OIC, following the example of the Prophet Mohammed – all prayers and blessings of Allah be upon him – and his approach of pardon and forgiveness of the polytheists on the day of the Conquest of Makkah, and his declaration of tolerance and pardon as a general law to be implemented among Muslims in their relationships between each other and between them and followers of other religions.

36. Emphasise the importance of empowering the youth and activating their role and participation in the national development process, and support this category of society and prepare it to confront all future challenges, and provide the youth with the tools and means that support their effort in showing their capacity to build a country with a knowledge-based sustainable economy.

37. Recall the importance of implementing the Action Plan of the OIC regarding the advancement of women, and the mechanism of implementation annexed thereto, including empowering of women, eradicating poverty, improving health and promoting the role of women in the development process, and we reaffirm that achieving gender equality is a key factor in achieving sustainable development goals.

38. Acknowledge that family assumes the primary responsibility of child care and protection and the development of the child personality, and request that Member States spread Islamic values related to children and family in general, improve the situation of children and their welfare, meet the physical and moral needs of displaced and refugee children by assisting in their education and healthcare, undertake the necessary measures to protect them from the dangers of harmful media programs and support the programs that promote ethical and cultural values of children and families.

39. Confirm our support to nuclear-weapons disarmament efforts and the disposal of weapons of massive destruction as a means to increase the promotion of international peace and security, and support the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

40. Emphasise the importance of economic cooperation, exchange of expertise between the States of Islamic Cooperation to address the issues related to economic development slowdown, adoption of innovative techniques, preparation of an appropriate environment for investment and business, implementation of long-term projects of mutual interest in the fields of mutual priority cooperation and the development of infrastructure in order to transform our communities. We also praise the role of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) as well as other institutions of the OIC in promoting economic and commercial exchange between Member States of the OIC.

41. Express our gratitude to the UAE for hosting the Expo 2020 in Dubai and call upon all Member States to actively participate in this exhibition.

42. Support the efforts made by the States of the OIC to implement their respective national programmes related to renewable energy and set the grounds for an innovative economy, and we invite the states to continue looking for the best practices in this field.

43. Reiterate our call upon Member States to commit to the full implementation of the decisions and recommendations of international forums and the OIC with respect to protecting the environment and addressing the challenges resulting from climate change and the deterioration of environmental condition and to set environmental policies for this purpose.

44. Emphasise the particular importance of touristic development as an essential economic sector that contributes to achieving sustainable development and long-term economic and social development, and also to promoting understanding and tolerance between the different peoples and cultures.

45. Emphasise the importance or healthcare in ensuring high living standards and prosperity of communities in general, and therefore call for the full and effective implementation of the “OIC Strategic Heath Programme of Action 2014-2023”.

46. Praise the initiative of the UAE to set and dedicate a day for volunteering, and the conference declares the 19th of Ramadan of each year a day to celebrate volunteering work in the Muslim World to promote the concepts of volunteering, especially among the youth.

47. Express our appreciation for the readiness of the Republic of the Niger to host the 47th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in 2020.

48. Express our gratitude and appreciation for the Secretary General of the OIC, Doctor Youssef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, for his comprehensive efforts for the advancement of the interests of the Islamic nation and the common Islamic work in order to achieve the objectives, vision and mission of the OIC in different fields.

49. Praise the efforts of Secretary General of the OIC for strengthening cooperation and partnership between the OIC and the international and regional organisations, especially the UN and its different bodies.

50. At the end of the 46th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, we express our deep appreciation to the people and the government of the UAE for organising and hosting this conference so well and we congratulate them on the success of the Forty-Sixth Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers under the motto “50 Years of Islamic Cooperation: Roadmap for Prosperity and Development”.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Hamdan bin Mohammed approves ‘Dubai Silk Road’ strategy

DUBAI, The Crown Prince of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, emphasised the importance of the logistics sector as a key driver of economic diversification as highlighted by the 50-Year Charter which outlines the vision of the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in cementing Dubai as a strategic link in global trade.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan also noted that the Government of Dubai has already begun the implementation of the 50-Year Charter, and stressed the significance of collaboration of all concerned entities to work collectively to attain the aspirations of Dubai of becoming an icon of prosperity.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed’s remarks came as he gave his approval for the Dubai Silk Road strategy that seeks to build on the success Dubai has accomplished globally as a strategic trade link between east and west, and north and south.

In this context, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said, “Our goal of becoming an established global trade and logistics hub will reflect positively on our economy by boosting competitiveness and sustainability.”

The Dubai Silk Road strategy was prepared by the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation,PCFC, in collaboration with key government entities. Internally, the strategy focuses on enhancing trade between free zones and the rest of the emirates. Externally, the focus will be on enhancing strategic and operational connection of logistics services between DP World terminals across the world with Emirates airlines playing a key role.

Commenting on the strategy, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the Chairman of PCFC, said, “Dubai is moving ahead with boosting its capabilities in trade and logistics services through a new strategy. The strategy augments decades of successful investment in creating renowned ports, airports, and free zones both regionally and internationally.”

According to bin Sulayem, Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade reached AED1.302 trillion in 2017, with free zones’ contribution reaching 33%. Sea trade grew to AED467 billion and air trade reached AED594 billion in the same period. The emirate’s external non-oil trade in the first nine months of 2018 reached AED965.3 billion.

The new Dubai Silk Road strategy comprises 9 initiatives and 33 projects that will see the collaboration of Emirates airlines, Dubai Airports, Dubai South, Dubai Free Zones,DFZ, Council, Dubai Maritime City Authority, Dubai Roads and Transport Authority, DP World, Dubai Municipality, Jebel Ali Free Zone.

Source: Emirates News Agency

DED: 791 companies operating in Hatta

DUBAI, The number of operating businesses in Hatta has reached 791, a 22% growth from 2009 to 2018, according to a report from the Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) sector at the Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai.

The licenses issued according to the activities were: commercial (533), professional (244), industry (11) and tourism (3). The report covers the various business activities in Hatta providing an overview of the opportunities in Hatta.

The total number of investors in the companies operating in Hatta reached 2,723 including 157 women entrepreneurs, about 5.8% of the total. Most of them are UAE nationals, followed by Indians, Pakistanis and Egyptians.

The number of activities carried out by the companies in Hatta reached 1,226 mostly on: “Contracting”; “Ready-made garments”; “Transport, shipment and storage”; “Restaurants and cafes”; “Electronics group”; “Buildings, security and cleaning”; and “Consumer Co-op Group”, while the number of workers in these companies reached 6,128.

“The report comes in line with the comprehensive development plan for Hatta launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, highlighting its potential as an important centre that preserves the UAE’s authentic heritage,” said Walid Abdel Malik, Director of Business Registration Division at BRL sector.

“We work closely with the private sector to promote productivity growth, improve the quality of public services and support a dynamic business environment. DED adopts a developed approach to promote the business environment to ensure that the Emirate’s competitiveness is maintained and that the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to position Dubai as a central hub in the global economy by 2021 is achieved,” added Abdel Malik.

The BRL sector offers several initiatives such as ease of start-up procedures, business registration, adoption of new e-services, and value-added services for licensed business owners.

Source: Emirates News Agency