Abu Dhabi / WAM
Younis Haji Al Khoori, Under-Secretary of Ministry of Finance, has said that the United Arab Emirates has proven itself to be a model to the world when it comes to dealing with the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) thanks to the guidance of the country’s wise leadership, the cooperation between all authorities, and the community’s commitment and adherence to the precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“The national economy of the UAE is strong and resilient and has the ability to overcome such crises,” he added.
The general framework of the economic strategy of the UAE in facing the pandemic is based on two main phases, he noted, explaining the first – in the short term – is the gradual opening of the economy and business activities while taking into account the health precautions. “We also supported the most affected sectors with economic stimulus plans, which, totalled to date, AED282.5 billion, thereby protecting entrepreneurs and SMEs.
“This links the funds to the beneficiary sectors based on well-defined plans and effective mechanisms,” he said in an interview published in the MoF e-Newsletter for July.
As for the second stage, Al Khoori explained, it is a long-term stimulus plan for the economy to accelerate recovery and advance growth. It works to transform challenges into opportunities and achieve sustainable economic development by enhancing the flexibility and sustainability of the economic model. It also encourages financing and investment in sectors with high future potential.
The focus in future, he added, will be on a digital economy; including artificial intelligence, AI, 5G, Internet of Things, IoT, smart cities, and green economy concepts and industries such as renewable energy, electric cars, and circular economy by enhancing productivity by integrating 3D printing technologies and robotics, promoting food security using advanced technologies such as AI, biotechnology, and genetic engineering.
Speaking about programmes and projects the ministry will launch to manage the next stage, Al Khoori said,” The Ministry of Finance is working on proposing the required policies, legislations, and incentives to support opportunities for the industry across the country to ensure self-sufficiency and preparation for any future challenges. We will also launch programmes to support the health, education, technology, and food security sectors – placing the human factor as the basis of comprehensive development. We have also continued to work with the international community to ensure that we build an economic and geopolitical system that addresses and contains health and environmental disasters and mitigates their effects.”
”This is in addition to supporting and encouraging government innovation programmes that grow the UAE’s economy and achieves comprehensive development for all sectors, as well as launching a fee-pricing guide for federal government services thus providing a framework that is transparent, consistent, and easy to implement for relevant federal entities,” he added.
With regards to the ministry’s priorities in the post-COVID-19 phases, he said,” Based on the UAE’s strategy for the post-COVID-19 phase, the ministry’s priorities are to submit proposals for draft laws and legislation that address the effects of the global pandemic on the nation. We are also drawing action plans and setting specific goals to meet urgent development needs. This is in addition to addressing the current challenges posed by the novel coronavirus, and taking into account the developments in the economic, developmental, community, service, and technological sectors.
Furthermore, the ministry is formulating policies to deal with similar challenges, examining deficiencies in sectors that faced more difficulties than others in dealing with the crisis, as well as supporting those that have been more resilient. This has contributed to supporting production and providing services with great efficiency in light of difficult situations we currently face.”
As for new laws and legislations that can be modified to respond to the current crisis, Al Khoori said,” The Ministry of Finance, in coordination with competent authorities, shall study the proposals for issuing new legislation, or make amendments to some texts of the articles of the laws in force, in a manner that supports comprehensive development across sectors.”
Among the important laws issued in light of the current crisis, he explained, is the UAE insolvency law for natural persons, which eases the burden on anyone facing financial difficulties in paying their debts. This includes both citizens and residents.