His Excellency Engineer Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, said that in the first half of 2011, the UAE promoted its policy of international co-operation and built strategic ties with a number of nations.
He said the Ministry was focused on promoting the framework for strengthening international relations, and exchange of experiences especially in promoting the growth of the small and medium enterprises sector, and boosting a culture of innovation and creativity. This was in line with the UAE Vision 2021 to further underline the UAE’s status as competitive knowledge-based economy.
The Ministry held five joint economic committee meetings during the first half of 2011 with Italy, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Algeria and Syria. The meetings focused on the development of SMEs and driving innovation through the signing of several cooperation agreements and exchange of experiences. The Ministry also arranged an official visit to Australia to explore new opportunities between the two countries.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai personally witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between the UAE and Italy in the field of small and medium enterprises.
A key area of cooperation with Italy is in alternative energy. The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation frameworks and exchange of expertise in promoting sustainable development. The two sides also committed to protect intellectual property rights and strengthen the infrastructure to ensure this.
The Ministry of Economy has provided a proposal for a Memorandum of Understanding with its counterpart in Turkey for strengthening the role of SMEs. The UAE also plans to send a delegation of entrepreneurs to Turkey to learn more about the country’s SME experience. The two sides also agreed to cooperate in the field of renewable energy and innovation. Mr Al Mansoori said that a comprehensive mechanism is being implemented to follow up bilateral relations with Australia following the success of the Ministry’s official visit.
The Ministry of Economy has launched several initiatives this year that will contribute to supporting the pillars of the knowledge economy. Most notable among these is an initiative to build genuine partnerships between industrial incubators to encourage foreign direct investment and promote a culture of entrepreneurship.
The Ministry has launched several steps to promote the use of technology and modern techniques to strengthen its service standards. Among other initiatives was its support to www.madeintheuae.com , a comprehensive website that helps manufacturers to promote their factories, products, and services. It enables UAE manufacturers to reach and connect with a global audience of buyers.
The Ministry also launched the Electronic System for Goods Monitoring which connects the Ports & Customs and the Ministry of Economy and centres of major retailers, enabling the Ministry to counter any attempts at potential monopoly practices by negotiating with suppliers or distribution outlets.
Another service was the issuance of Arabic Certificates of Origin online. This service offers flexible procedures for investors further enhancing the investment environment of the UAE. With this service, the merchant or the producer can apply online and request for a certificate of origin, and update or change the contents of the request for the certificate any time. This procedure is available in both English and Arabic languages.
Highlighting the success of these initiatives, the Ministry’s IT Department won the Open Group Arabia Award for its continuous adoption of the latest technologies in institutional planning.