ABU DHABI: The UAE government is seeking to open new channels for entrepreneurs and support the growth and expansion of their businesses in global markets, by strengthening global strategic economic partnerships and cooperation, which enhance the potential for sustainable growth, said Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy,

‘’The UAE economic model is based on developing the national entrepreneurship system and enhancing the participation of Emirati entrepreneurs and startups, as they represent a major strategic partner in advancing the UAE development process and driving sustainable growth in new economic sectors,’’

Al Marri told a session of the UAE Annual Government Meetings, held in Abu Dhabi today, which brought together all UAE government entities at the federal and local levels to discuss challenges and strategies related to the country’s national development plan to achieve the objectives of the ‘UAE Centennial 2071’.

Building a future economic model based on a dynamic and developed business environment that adopts innovation mainly in the process of stimulating the launch of start-ups and small and medium enterprises, is a major goal in the visions and directions of the UAE that focus on developing the local entrepreneurship system and transferring it to the world.

The session was attended by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court.

The session focused on the need to enable Startups and small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country to expand internationally by identifying investment opportunities in relevant markets outside the country and linking projects and companies with foreign investors from around the world.

Participants discussed the most important challenges facing SMEs, and future opportunities that can be harnessed to facilitate financing, and raise their productivity compared to large companies in the country, in a way that guarantees ensure their access to regional and global markets.

SMEs represent 94 percent of the total companies and institutions operating in the country and contribute more than 52 percent to the country’s non-oil GDP, making them a key player in building a competitive knowledge-based economy and in the UAE’s 50-year transition to a new economy.