The UAE economy ranks first in the Arab world and 23rd globally among economies which are based on creativity and innovation. This evidences the efforts and dedication of the Government to keep pace with latest developments and make innovation a tool for spurring economic progress to realize the vision and strategies of development in a knowledge-based economy. This came during a symposium entitled the impact of innovation on world economies, organized by the Department of Economic Development- recently in presence of Exncellency Mohammed Omar Abdullah, Undersecretary of the Department, a number of executives and officials in government entities and private sector institutions.
Dr. Adeeb Al Afifi, Director of Foreign Trade and Exports Support in ADDED, said in an opening word the seminar stems from the belief that innovation is the most important driver affecting world economies today, and it is been adopted by developed countries, hence the U.A.E. in general and Abu Dhabi in particular seek to continuously apply in all field. Al Afifi said that General Electric's Global Innovation Barometer 2013 revealed that 89% of executives in UAE companies consider innovation a strategic priority to help drive business growth, adding that more than half of them believe that new business models innovation is the best way to boost performance in the future. Al Afifi commented that the lifelike seminar presented the experience of countries and international companies in the use of innovation and how it became the main propelling engine and which contributed to continuing their efforts and activities and generating a lot of revenue within the high global competition. In turn Dr. Jorgen Eriksson Adjunct Professor in Innovation Management at the International University of Monaco, gave a presentation, which pointed out that innovation does not only focus on products, but also services, particularly those provided by government agencies. Dr. Eriksson emphasized the importance of the public sector coping with the needs and requirements of the private sector-led innovation to stay within the heightened global competition. Eriksson said that innovation and creativity contribute to advancement of regions regardless of their geographical locations, such as one city south of Munich in Germany, with population not exceeding fifty thousand people, which hosts 1,200 international companies in the field of medical supplies covering 80% of the world's needs of certain types of medical devices. This proves that the favorable investment environment encourages innovation to realize major global achievements. Dr. Eriksson said that the government can proceed with innovation through the use of two major policy tools. The first concerns encouraging innovation internally within the organizational culture and spreading it among officials and staff, to better serve clients and meet strategic goals and policies. The second tool centers on fostering innovation through the creation of external policy and regulatory environment that will contribute to the dissemination of the culture of innovation in the private sector to make it more competitive in global markets.