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Innovation drives UAE future.

The main strategic goal for the Emirates Competitiveness Council (ECC) is based on a sustainable development, knowledge and innovation, said Reem Al Hashemi, Minister of State and Chairman of the ECC, at the opening remarks of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Summit GFCC, on Tuesday in Dubai.

"The ECC is working to enhance competitiveness across innovative sectors in the UAE," she said. The priorities are to diversify the UAE's non-oil economy, increase gross domestic product (GDP), develop value-added sectors, encourage high tech efficiencies in companies as well as boost investment in research and development, she added.

In order to achieve a highly innovative and technically savvy talent pool of Emiratis that are able to adapt and respond to an ever-changing market environment, the minister said, the UAE is working closely with national and international partners as well as academic institutions across the country to deliver high quality vocational educational system based on modern technology and innovation.

Moreover, she remarked that the government is working to increase the number of engineers and scientists in the labour force, improve the intellectual property rights and provide proper finance to innovations. "All these will define the UAE competitiveness on the medium and long term," she added.

Dr Gene Huang, Chief Economist and Vice President at FedEx Corporation and Chairman of the Economic Advisory Committee of the Council on Competitiveness, said that innovation is a key performance measure for competitiveness. "Innovation is not a product to be put in service but a whole process that leads to higher production, higher growth and higher prosperity," he added.

Pointing to five pillars of innovation capabilities, he said: "There are five key capabilities that make innovation systems function effectively: accessing, anchoring, diffusing, creating and exploiting knowledge."

Mohammad Omar Abdullah, Undersecretary of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, remarked how the UAE has built a number of initiatives around innovation and has spread awareness on how necessary this factor is in enhancing the country's competitiveness.

Talking about innovation readiness, he added: "The UAE boasts of a very strong capacity to access the resource it needs for innovation. This is reflected by the presence of advanced information and communication technology, infrastructure, a culture of ICT and the supportive regulatory framework that encourages international business and trade."

The UAE has articulated Vision 2021 to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the nation. This vision serves as a blueprint for becoming a leading diversified and flexible knowledge-based economy driven by innovation and talented human capital, Abdullah said.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Nov 28, 2012
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