x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

New Abu Dhabi finance policy body to guide growth

Abu Dhabi has launched an economic think-tank to assist policymakers in shaping the growth of the emirate.

Abu Dhabi has launched an economic think-tank to assist policymakers in shaping the growth of the emirate. Researchers starting work at the Abu Dhabi Economic Research Agency (ADERA) next month will focus on a number of key areas of study such as sustainable economic growth, the role of financial markets in the wider economy, energy and the environment and labour markets.

Initially operating under the guidance of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED), the plan is for the agency to eventually run as entity fully independent from the Government, officials said. "We want to put a focus on research as there is a gap in the area of research in Abu Dhabi at the moment," said Mohammed Omar Abdullah, undersecretary of the DED, at an event to announce the launch of the agency in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

He said the research will help Abu Dhabi to realise some of the goals set out in its 2030 economic vision. The agency will collaborate with the recently established Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi, which is providing data on consumer prices, consumer confidence and the labour force in the emirate. It will stage public policy seminars where research compiled by the agency will be communicated to policymakers and the commission research projects.

The agency's work will also involve offering research fellowships to ensure leading economists from around the world focus their research on Abu Dhabi and providing PhD bursaries to train the next generation of researchers and policymakers for expertise in Abu Dhabi and the Gulf. Among its first tasks will be commissioning a series of six-month studies to explore how research can influence economic policy in Abu Dhabi. Reports from the studies are expected to be published in October next year.

ADERA will also focus on innovation and new business opportunities and development, efficiency in public services, including the role of public-private partnerships, and understanding human economic motivation. The UK's Economic and Social Research Council, a research and training agency addressing economic and social concerns, helped the DED set up ADERA. @Email:tarnold@thenational.a>