x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

An opportunity to engage in key global debates

Events such as the World Economic Forum reflect the UAE's belief in global cooperation that is at the heart of the UAE's approach to responsible global citizenship.

This week a diverse group of people will gather in Abu Dhabi for the World Economic Forum’s Summit on the Global Agenda 2013. This is the sixth edition of the event to be hosted in the UAE and the second to be held in Abu Dhabi.

It is certainly a busy time in the capital. This summit comes on the heels of the fourth Abu Dhabi Media Summit held on Yas Island last month.

It will be followed in January by the seventh World Future Energy Summit and the fourth session of the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).

It is no secret that media and renewable energy are two key sectors in the Government of Abu Dhabi’s plan for the development and diversification of its economy.

However, these events are also consistent with the commitment of both Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates to participate in, and to convene, important global conversations.

This belief in deepening international cooperation is at the heart of our approach to responsible global citizenship.

In recent years, the world has witnessed significant political and economic change.

In times such as these, the need for greater international cooperation is magnified. The UAE has an important role to play as a platform for facilitating and strengthening these global connections.

One aspect of this is trade.

The UAE remains the largest export market in the Middle East for both the United States and the United Kingdom, while our trade with China has increased five-fold over the past decade.

Dedicated efforts to deepen cooperation between Abu Dhabi and Singapore contributed to a more than doubling of bilateral trade between the two markets between the years of 2009 and 2012.

Integral to boosting the role of Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a trading centre has been the provision of world-class infrastructure, one of the reasons why the UAE placed 19th in the World Economic Forum’s recent Global Competitiveness Report, alongside other factors such as the rapid adoption of technologies and political stability.

Furthermore, Abu Dhabi consistently ranks as one of the most liveable cities in the world, because of its safe environment combined with its first-rate education system, health care and cultural offerings.

However, while trade facilitates important dialogue and engagement, complex questions require coordinated solutions.

The World Economic Forum’s Summit on the Global Agenda meets this need in a unique way.

The summit brings together a diverse range of experts spanning various disciplines and regions of the world to address the most complex questions of our time.

The UAE, and its capital Abu Dhabi, have always welcomed pioneers and those with the capacity to think differently.

By hosting the Summit on the Global Agenda, we seek to provide a collaborative environment in which challenging global issues can be explored by one of the most diverse groups of thinkers to be assembled anywhere in the world.

This diversity of contribution has always been, and remains, at the heart of the summit, and continues to be something that we in the UAE can identify with based on our own national experience.

His Excellency Nasser Ahmed Al Sowaidi is Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Summit on the Global Agenda