Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development launched its Strategy to Support and Stimulate the Private Sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (2013-2016), which aims at strengthening the role of the private sector, to enable it to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Economic Vision 2030 and raise the contribution of non-oil sectors to 64% of the Emirate's GDP by 2030. This came during the ceremony organized by ADDED today at its headquarters for launching the strategy, in presence of the Undersecretary H.E. Mohammed Omar Abdullah and a number of ADDED’s Executives Directors.In a speech during the ceremony, the Undersecretary said that the leadership of the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, under the Guidance of the President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and H.H His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, have paid special attention to the private sector and its role in leading the economy to bring about the desired economic diversity in accordance with the Economic Vision 2030.This strategy came under the persistence of the Department of Economic Development to achieve economic diversification through accelerating the growth of non-oil economic activities, increasing trade openness and providing a favorable business environment, given its responsibility to formulate economic policies, plans, strategies and programs necessary to encourage concerned public and private sector stakeholders; and increase their participation in achieving sustainable economic development.As the Department of Economic Development views the private sector as a central stakeholder and a key partner in the realization of the economic vision, hence, the strategy was centered on supporting and stimulating the private sector. Hence it managed to encompass 29 initiatives for facilitating the private sector’s participation in the economic activity in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Undersecretary said.H.E. Rashid Ali Al Zaabi, Acting Executive Director of Planning and Statistics Sector, emphasized that the Department's strategy to stimulate and support the private sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, came as one of the most important initiatives under the main duties and responsibilities envisaged by the law No. 2/2009 Concerning the Establishment of the Department of Economic Development, to expand, develop and promote the private sector in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.Al Zaabi, stressed that the strategy was at the heart of the main goals set by the Economic Vision 2030 spearheaded by the Department of Economic Development to achieve sustainable economic development and move towards a knowledge-based economy, through activating the private sector to play a greater role in realizing the strategic objectives of the vision.According to Al Zaabi the strategy was prepared over two main stages; the first was during the period 2010-2012, when the main determinants of the strategy were laid; while the second stage included the updating the strategy of the role of the Department in supporting and developing the private sector during the period 2013-2016.Al Zaabi stated that the strategy was an embodiment of Paragraph 17 of Article (4) of the Department’s law No. 2/2009, which reads: “Preparing the necessary studies to activate the role of the private sector, and proposing policies and strategies for developing this role, in coordination with the concerned authorities”. I the strategy also came in demonstration of one of the nine pillars of the Economic Vision 2030 which were intended to form the architecture of the Emirate’s social, political and economic future, manly: “A large empowered private sector”Rashid Al Zaabi, explained that there were a number of major reasons that prompted the Department of Economic Development to prepare the strategy; most importantly, the modest performance of the private sector in contribution to Abu Dhabi's economy, the low competitiveness of the private sector at the local level and the growing competition posed by foreign and GCC private sectors, which faces the private sector.
Al Zaabi said that the Department's Strategy to Support and Stimulate the Private Sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (2013-2016), aims at restoring the balance between the public and private sectors for leading the Emirate's economy, boosting domestic private sector participation rather than relying on external institutions, raising the level of competitiveness of the private sector regionally and internationally and finding appropriate solutions to address obstacles facing economic sectors in Abu Dhabi.The strategy contained 29 initiatives to be implemented by all ADDED’s concerned sectors, most importantly the initiative to reduce the number of procedures and number of days required to start a business, together with reducing the cost of starting a business from 10% of gross national income per capita to 6%. All this is all intended to be accomplished during the current year.The strategy also included initiatives to improve the Construction Permit Index from its level of 39 in the Doing Business 2012 report, to 12 and to enhance the Contract Enforcement Index from 63 to 50. The initiatives envision the establishment of a specialized unit to support partnership between the public and private sectors; and drafting a proposal for a public-private partnership law.The initiatives include building a solid private sector database in the Emirate, in coordination with the Statistics Center-Abu Dhabi (SCAD), developing mechanisms for technical and field work concerning commercial protection, speeding up the establishment of “Abu Dhabi Center for Consumer Protection and Market Surveillance”, activating social responsibility among private sector companies, following up the proposal to issue a “ financial leasing law” and following up the implementation of the decision of the General Secretariat of the Executive Council to allocate 10% of government procurements to the private sector.Prominent initiatives for supporting and stimulating the private sector, include the establishment of “ Abu Dhabi Export Promotion Agency”, participation in the setting up of a federal level credit rating company for small and medium-sized enterprises, setting the framework for drafting a law on “diminishing partnerships”, preparation of two sectoral field studies during current year for subsectors and the corporate governance project of small and medium-sized enterprises, preparation of an investment map and an investment guide for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in addition to the preparation of a strategy for the development of SMEs in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.initiatives addressed the following-up and coordination with competent authorities for issuing regulations concerning industrial mortgage, the preparation of a program to stimulate private sector companies within specific standards and criteria, the tailoring of awareness raising programs for all private sector entities collaborating with ADDED; the Abu Dhabi program for raising productivity and the following –up of the establishment of the industrial sector funding window in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.