What significant policy initiatives did ADDED oversee in 2019?
In line with Abu Dhabi's development accelerator program, Ghadan 21, ADDED has taken steps to promote the Emir- ate's economic development by creating an attractive environment for enterprise growth, competitive work environments, developing the private sector and SME growth, as well as stimulating industry projects. Central to this was the launch of Abu Dhabi Instant License initiative, where all licenses applications are streamlined through a digital portal, and approvals are processed instantly online. Furthermore, ADDED successfully launched its new Automatic Renewal initiative for economic licenses, allowing immediate license renewal via SMS, without the need to follow up and wait for approvals from the relevant entities. To expand our industrial base and reinvigorate our manufacturing sector, the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB), under the umbrella of ADDED, launched the Electricity Tariff Incentive Program (ETIP) in line with Ghadan 21's objectives. The initiative is expected to contribute to increasing companies' capitals, enabling them to further develop their industrial products, enhance their business value, and improve competitiveness. The initiative provides a discount to normal industrial tariffs for those sites with active industrial licenses and who fulfill certain criteria.
What are the biggest concerns in terms of global trading trends?
With 2019 marking one of the weakest economic expansions since the 2008 global financial crisis, 2020 will remain vulnerable to uncertainties over trade and geopolitical tensions. However, taking into consideration the trade deal announced recently by the US and China, which suspended new US tariffs on Chinese consumer goods and reduced the tariff rate on some other goods, we expect the deal to boost business confidence and investment prospects, contributing to a pick up in trade growth. Further cross-border cooperation is needed on multiple fronts. Countries should properly address concerns with the rules-based trading system and settle disagreements without raising tariffs and non-tariff barriers. External trade ranks high among Abu Dhabi ongoing concerns, with the Emirate continuing to invest in capital intensive, export-oriented sectors. Recently, Abu Dhabi has launched an export credit agency, ADEX, to support the Emirate's economy and enhance the competitiveness of its exports by providing funding and guarantees to overseas buyers—both public- and private-sector bodies—looking to import goods and services from the UAE. In addition, ADEX will provide credit facilities to support UAE exporters and help them manage associated risks, encouraging them to expand into overseas markets and explore new export destinations.
How does ADDED work in partnership with other major government and non-government entities?
ADDED implements its initiatives by working closely with government entities at the local and federal level, and with the private sector to enable the Emirate's enterprises and its people to realize their full productive potential. ADDED also coordinates with international organizations such as the World Economic Forum (WEF); Institute of Management Development, Switzerland (IMD); and the World Bank. These collaborations help to assess Abu Dhabi's potential for growth, investments, and to attract global talent; while the government uses them to evaluate policies underpinning the business environment and determine areas of legislation and procedural improvements.
What have been some recent developments in Abu Dhabi related to green energy?
As a key player within the world energy market, Abu Dhabi has extended its leadership among the renewable, clean energy market as well. In 2006, Abu Dhabi launched its leading clean energy company, Masdar, which spearheads the development of renewable energy projects and clean technology adoption. In 2017, the UAE launched Energy Strategy 2050, considered the first unified energy strategy in the country based on supply and demand. The strategy aims to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25% to 50% by 2050 and reduce carbon footprint of power generation by 70%, thus saving AED700 billion by 2050. It also seeks to increase consumption efficiency of individuals and corporations by 40%