The Competitiveness Office of Abu Dhabi (COAD), affiliated with the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi (DED), organized a workshop in Capital Gate hotel in Abu Dhabi in cooperation with the World Bank to review the results of the Business Report on UAE in 2012, in the presence of participants from the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, the Department of Municipal Affairs and DED’s Trade Affairs Section. During the workshop, representatives of the World Bank gave a presentation to the officials from participant government entities in which they highlighted the contents and mechanisms of a study conducted in Abu Dhabi with emphasis laid on the strengths and weaknesses of the four indicators incorporated by the international report: starting commercial activity, issuing construction licenses, registering real-estate ownership and contract validity.The World Bank delegation comprised Mrs. Mirta Capul, Director of the Business Environment Report, Mrs. Katrina Loris, Director of the National Reports Projects, and Mrs. Julian Pil Kon, Operation Analyst, at the World Bank. The workshop included three discussion sessions: in the first session, the World Bank representatives briefed the officials from the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department on the results of the Contract Validity indicator, whereas in the second session, the Bank representatives briefed the officials from the Municipal Department on the results of the Construction License and registration of real-estate ownership indicator, and in the third session, the World Bank representatives briefed the officials from DED’s Trade Affairs Section on the starting a commercial activity indicator. With regards to the Judicial Department session - dedicated to discussions of the results of the contract validity indicator- the World Bank representatives highlighted the indicator’s main pivots: time frame, cost and the number of procedures required to settle commercial disputes in court. The workshop’s second session – held with officials from the Municipal Department – was dedicated to discussing the results of the two indicators of issuing construction licenses and registering real-estate ownership. During the session, and with regard to the first indicator, the World Bank representatives focused on three main pivots: the time frame, cost and the number of procedures required for a construction license to be completed. As for the indicator of registering real-estate ownership, the World Bank representatives focused on the pivots of the time frame, cost and the number of procedures required for the ownership of a real-estate to be transferred from one local firm to another. As for the workshop’s third and last session – and with regard to the indicator of starting a commercial activity - the World Bank representatives emphasized to the officials from the DED’s Trade Affairs Section the importance of taking into consideration the factors of time frame, cost, minimum capital and the number of procedures required for a local firm with limited responsibility to be established and start its activities. Halah Al Ameri, Project Manager at COAD, said objectives of the workshop were to highlight the results of the business reports as well as their recommendations to the concerned government entities to be familiar with the best international practices in this regard, discussing the implementation of reforms, and determine the recommendations and the mechanisms of implementing them in the short and medium run.She indicated that the business activity report on the UAE for the year 2012 is intended to measure 4 of the international Business Report indicators based on the procedures and domestic law influential in the seven Emirates of the UAE. This incorporates starting an economic activity, issuance of construction licenses, registration of real-estate ownership and contract validity. Al-Ameri added that the report compares the seven Emirates with the 183 countries covered by the repots, apart from the Gulf Cooperation Council member states. She indicated that the report focuses primarily on small and medium-size companies and the government measures applied to them throughout their duration based on earlier studies on similar cases as well as the qualitative indicators of time frame, mobility and cost with regards to the government rules governing business activities. Halah Al Ameri stressed the necessity of reliance on the reports’ results as well as the World Bank recommendations via drawing up a work plan to follow up the necessary procedures and reforms in coordination with the concerned government entities with the aim of promoting work mechanisms of commercial activities, applying them proficiently and establishing effective, sound and incentive frame to the private sector.
Al Ameri expressed her gratitude and appreciation to the World Bank representatives for their sincere cooperation and interest in providing such an important workshop with the aim of developing a clear understanding and technical reading of the competiveness reports in a manner that ensures a high standing for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi both at the regional and international levels.