Minister of Economy participates in SALT iConnections Forum to highlight UAE’s status as a prime hub for global partnerships

NEW YORK: Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, participated in a panel discussion titled 'Building New Economies: How to Foster Growth and Innovation,' held as part of the SALT iConnections Forum in New York City on 21 and 22of May 2024. T...

NEW YORK: Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, participated in a panel discussion titled ‘Building New Economies: How to Foster Growth and Innovation,’ held as part of the SALT iConnections Forum in New York City on 21 and 22of May 2024.

This year, the event focused on enhancing innovation in the financial sector and emerging economic trends, particularly those in the financial sector, digital currencies, and their potential impact on banking and investment, among others.

The Minister of Economy is currently on a working visit to the United States to explore the potential for new economic partnerships between the UAE and the USA in several priority areas. During the visit, Bin Touq will hold meetings with experts and key officials and will also visit several financial and banking institutions to exchange experiences and enhance opportunities for cooperation and investment in both countries’ markets.

The minister said: ‘Thanks to its visionary leadership’s guidance, the UAE has strengthened its r
egional and global position as a top global economic and investment hub. This was achieved through the implementation of pioneering and flexible policies and strategies, transitioning towards a new economic model based on technology, knowledge, and innovation. This has created an ideal economic environment, making it more attractive for ideas, talents, entrepreneurship, and startups.’

Bin Touq explained that the UAE has established itself as a new hub for capital and high-quality investments within the economies of the future. The country has successfully diversified its national economy through key initiatives such as fostering entrepreneurship, empowering innovation, knowledge, and technology, talent attraction, and promoting sustainability and green development. Moreover, it continues to offer necessary resources and support in terms of legislation, infrastructure, and incentives to attract innovative ideas and entrepreneurial projects, thus positioning itself as a key hub for AI applications, renewable e
nergy, FinTech, research and development, and space economy.

During his speech at the session, attended by Bo Li, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and moderated by Anthony Scaramucci, Founder and Managing Partner of SkyBridge Capital, Bin Touq affirmed that the UAE-American relations are witnessing increased growth thanks to shared goals and visions in all economic sectors.

The UAE’s investments in the USA reached $38 billion in 2022, accounting for more than 50 percent of the Middle Eastern countries’ investments in America. These investments span several key sectors and industries, most notably transport, commercial activities, information technology, real estate, food, beverages, and space. Meanwhile, American FDI in the UAE market reached nearly $4.3 billion in 2021.

Moreover, the UAE is also the largest Arab trading partner of the United States. The USA is among the top three global trading partners of the UAE as of 2023, with growing volume of exports from 40 US states to
the UAE last year, supporting more than 166,000 jobs in the US. The non-oil trade between the two countries grew by 20 percent in 2023 to reach $40 billion, with more than 50 percent growth compared to that of the pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Competitive indicators and economic incentives support the growth of partnership at the private sector level

Bin Touq called on the American private sector to take advantage of the competitive economic environment and opportunities offered by the UAE. The country provides all growth enablers to investors, entrepreneurs and talent in terms of infrastructure, technology and legislation, its strategic location, and its ability to serve as a link for business communities with the ever-growing global South.

He noted that the UAE market is an important destination for the American business community. Currently, 16,000 American citizens hold business licenses within the country, in diverse sectors such as finance, insurance, trade, real estate, manufacturing industries, sc
ientific and technical activities, transport, storage, mining, etc.

In addition, H.E. reviewed the highlights of the UAE economy, emphasizing that it is one of the region’s most diversified, competitive, and opportunity-generating economies, especially in new and future sectors. Many non-oil and fast-growing sectors today contribute to supporting the national GDP, such as health care, finance, hospitality, logistics, agricultural, financial technology, and e-commerce. FDI also remains one of the nation’s most important growth drivers.

In 2022, the UAE achieved its highest FDI inflows at $22.7 billion, up 10 percent from 2021, in a first in the region. The country recorded the second highest increase in the number of new FDI projects in 2023 at 28 percent and ranked first globally in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report 2024, maintaining its prestigious global position in attracting investments and entrepreneurial projects.

Bin Touq emphasised that the UAE is one of the most attractive destinations fo
r setting up and conducting businesses today.

Over the past years, it has succeeded in developing a number of legislations and procedures that have enabled the business community to grow and compete. These include a law on trade through the means of modern technology, and laws on intellectual property, industrial property, trademarks, and copyright. The country has also strengthened the legislative environment for family enterprises considering them as an important pillar in promoting sustainable growth and transitioning towards an economy based on knowledge and innovation.

The UAE has also allowed 100 percent foreign direct ownership of companies and enterprises, increasing the number of companies operating in the UAE by 43 percent or 275,000 between 2020-2022, bringing the total number of companies operating in the UAE to more than 788,000 by the end of 2023.

He added: “High value-added emerging industries are the driving force behind the economic growth sectors of the new economy, green growth, sustaina
ble finance, and investment, and the tourism sector. The UAE shares this vision with the United States at the government, private and corporate levels, which opens the prospects for stronger partnerships.’

Source: Emirates News Agency