UAE's 'competitive' economy not immune to COVID-19 impact

Published: 13 May 2020 - 2:30 a.m.

UAE's minister of economy, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, said during a government meeting that the region has developed a systematic response plan to address the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring economic sustainability, business continuity and fast recovery.

The UAE government meeting was held to discuss the region's strategy for the post-COVID-19 era, state-run news agency Wam reported.

Al Mansouri said in the meeting that the UAE economy is not immune to the repercussions of the pandemic, owing to its competitiveness, resilience and connectivity with global markets. He noted that some sectors have been hard hit by the crisis including tourism, aviation, petrochemicals, retail and real estate, while other sectors have grown. These include technology, internet services, digital entertainment, e-commerce and food business.

Furthermore, Al Mansouri lauded the UAE economic strategy framework, which was rolled out in two different phases. The first phase is short-term, and includes the gradual opening of the economy and businesses while adhering to the precautionary measures, massive stimulus plans amounting to $76.9bn (AED282.5bn) to the sectors most affected by the crisis, and support towards SMEs.

The second phase covers the long-term stimulus package to accelerate recovery, advance growth, transform challenges into opportunities to achieve sustainable economic growth, and encourage investment in sectors with high potential, most notably digital economy such as artificial intelligence, 5G networks, internet of things, smart cities, and blockchain; green economy industries such as renewable energy, electric cars, and circular economy; boosting productivity by merging 3D printing and robotics, and enhancing food security by adopting advanced technologies.

Al Mansouri stressed that global economic trends for the post-COVID-19 era will give rise to a new global supply chain and business patterns with a more active role for governments in the national economy, and will also see substantial investments for digital infrastructure, 5G networks, smart cities, smart services, health, education and trade.

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