A NUMBERS GAME

UAE, Abu Dhabi 2015 | ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to HE Butti Ahmed Mohamed Bin Butti Al Qubaisi, Director General of the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD), on the importance of accurate statistics and the center's contribution to the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.

HE Butti Ahmed Mohamed Bin Butti Al Qubaisi
BIOGRAPHY
HE Butti Ahmed Mohamed Bin Butti Al Qubaisi is the Director General of the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) and also a member of Abu Dhabi National Advisory Council, the Board of the National Statistics Center, the Sub-Committee on Population Structure, the Abu Dhabi Center for Corporate Governance, and the Abu Dhabi Food Security Committee. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Geneva and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the UAE University.

Do you think your data is being used correctly by the business community in general?

Part of SCAD's strategy is to support informed investment decisions by the private sector. The availability of reliable and relevant statistics promotes investors' confidence and facilitates informed decision-making. This mix serves as a platform for balanced and sustainable economic growth in the Emirate. SCAD compiles and disseminates a wide range of official statistics of interest to the business community. These include economic, demographic, agricultural, and environmental indicators. For example, GDP is one of the most important indicators of the economic performance of a country. The FDI statistics show something of the relationship between foreign investors and Abu Dhabi. The statistics demonstrate that European countries account for the largest proportion of FDI. SCAD undertakes a number of initiatives to improve the understanding and use of statistics, especially among those in the business community, including investors.

Are you planning to expand your database to other fields in the near future?

SCAD is keen to open up new opportunities by working with strategic partners in the government and the business world. The current Sport Survey, undertaken at the request of the Abu Dhabi Sport Council, will provide baseline information for planning and policy for sport, recreation, and community health in the Emirate. The Disability Survey is being undertaken in collaboration with the Zayed Higher Organization, and will produce measures such as disability prevalence rates and participation rates in education and work by persons with disabilities. Thus, we continue to make advances by coming up with new indicators in the economic and social sectors. Recently, SCAD released a new indicator called Expected Inflation, which we will continue to issue every quarter.

How do you see your contribution to the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030?

By law, the government acknowledges SCAD as the official statistical organization of Abu Dhabi. One of SCAD's strategic outcomes is to ensure sound government policies and decisions based on relevant statistics. Whenever official figures are needed, SCAD is the main resource for statistics. We have assumed the role as the trusted partner in providing timely and relevant statistical products, which support decision and policy makers. As such, SCAD is a key player in the pursuit of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 under the umbrella of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi Emirate. We have been an active contributor to the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 since its first draft, and we update all the data at appropriate intervals. As the provider of latest available data and official statistics, SCAD makes a fundamental contribution to the technical work aimed at achieving the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. SCAD contributes to the Five-Year Economic Development Strategic Plan, which contains the guiding principles for Abu Dhabi to achieve its 2030 targets.

What are the advantages of SCAD's recent MoU with the Italian National Institute?

SCAD has signed several MoUs with key international statistical agencies. The first international agreement was signed with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in February 2011 and Statistics Korea (KOSTAT) in September 2012. This year we signed an MoU with the Federal Statistical Office of the Federal Republic of Germany (Destatis), and most recently with the National Institute of Statistics of Italy (Istat) in May 2014. The aim of international cooperation is to boost the technical know-how in statistics, especially within the younger generation of UAE nationals. Building these alliances has supported SCAD's success in hosting the Conference of International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS) to be held in Abu Dhabi in 2016. By raising SCAD's profile internationally and with the transfer of knowledge and experience gained through our international partnerships, we hope for further success in bidding to host the International Statistical Institute World Statistics Congress (WSC ISI) 2021.