Minister of Economy calls for increased trade as a means of ensuring geopolitical stability at opening of GTDW

DUBAI, 28th October, 2015 (WAM) — Calling for increased global trade as a means to facilitate geopolitical stability, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, today opened Global Trade Development Week 2015, at the Ritz Carlton DIFC, Dubai.
The three-day event brings together influential business and government leaders from over 100 countries to discuss how to tackle today’s most challenging trade and development issues.
“Increased trade across borders is perhaps the strongest enabler of geopolitical stability. However, we need to evolve efficient means to drive and facilitate this trade.” said Al Mansouri, highlighting the central theme of his speech, the potential of the global trading system to deliver shared economic prosperity.
Pointing out the means towards stimulating global economic growth, he added. “We have to find new sources of income, and enable access to trade, finance and investment to create conditions for inclusive and sustained economic prosperity. Global Trade Development Week presents a forum where business leaders, whether they are SMEs, multinationals or owners of family businesses, can link directly with government departments and key representatives from investment and finance, to explore how they can grow their businesses and trade across borders. This ease of doing business is a crucial prerequisite to stimulate sustainable economic growth.”
Global Trade Development Week, which is organised under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Economy, is now an established major annual forum and exhibition dedicated to the aancement of the international trading system.
The Minister used his speech to express the crucial role trade had played in the history of the UAE and spoke about the growth of the UAE’s non-oil trade volumes, saying, “Trade played a major role in the history of our region and country. It continues to be a vital tool to leverage economic growth and development. Trade numbers are ever increasing, reflecting the growing role of in international trade. The UAE’s non-oil trade volume grew from AED 1.5 trillion in 2013 to reach AED 1.6 trillion in 2014 and we are determined to further increase these numbers. The UAE is now the fourth largest re-exporter worldwide as it establishes itself as a vibrant hub for global trade.”
The role of innovation and SMEs as drivers of the global economic growth are both central themes for the Global Trade Development Week 2015, and in reflection of this focus, Al Mansouri underlined the role of SMEs in the global economy, “We are keenly aware of the important role that SMEs play as key drivers of innovation and as engines for economic growth. Today, the SME sector contributes to nearly 60 percent of the UAE’s GDP. As part of our national strategy outlined by the UAE Vision 2021, we aim to raise the contribution of this vital sector to 70 percent over the next six years.”
Emphasising the importance of innovation as a driver of economic growth, the Minister said, “The theme for this year’s forum, ‘Innovation in Global Trade and Economic Development’, is a subject of particular current relevance to the UAE. Innovation is a key pillar of our 2021 Strategy. The UAE is committed to creating innovative institutions and policies that will promote sustainable economic development through enhanced trade and international investment attractiveness.”
Along with the Minister of Economy, other keynote speakers were Dr. Mukhasi Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Aracha Gonzalez, Secretary-General of International Trade Centre, and Hani Al Hamli, Secretary-General of Dubai Economic Council.
Ayesha Al-Kobaisi, Director of International Trade Organisations Department and the Project Director for Global Trade Development Week from the Ministry of Economy, added, “A major objective of the work of the UAE Ministry of Economy is to boost our economic ties with trading partners across the world and also reduce barriers to trade and investment by connecting with the audiences at Global Trade Development Week, and also by encouraging UAE businesses to attend this major annual event, we hope to make some progress towards achieving these aims.”