Sunday 11 January 2015
Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, on Sunday delivered a lecture on the future of the UAE's national economy, at the National Defence College in Abu Dhabi. In the lecture, Al Mansouri noted that basd on the action plans announced in 2005 by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Vision 2021 is aimed at improving the competitiveness of the national economy, led by Emiratis. The strategy seeks to make the UAE one of the world's best countries by 2020. He also noted that in accordance with the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Cabinet, in November 2014, approved designating 2015 as the Year of Innovation, as part of a plan to make the UAE a world innovative leader. The National Innovation Strategy, launched in late October 2014, seeks to make the UAE one of the most innovative nations in the world within seven years. The minister noted that the strategy will stimulate innovation in seven sectors where innovation is key to excellence: renewable energy, transport, education, health, technology, water and space. Its first phase includes 30 national initiatives to be completed within three years. These include new legislation, innovation incubators, investment in specialised skills, private sector incentives, international research partnerships and an innovation drive within government. The Global Innovation Index 2014 shows that out of 143 countries, Switzerland remains at the top position globally for innovation, and the UAE is in 36th place. Al Mansouri also expected that the UAE economy will grow by more than four percent this year. He further noted that the National Innovation Strategy requires all government entities to reduce spending by one percent and to dedicate the savings to research and innovation projects. National training and education programmes on innovation will also be launched.