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UAE maintains competitive edge in terms of 'Ease of Doing Business' in World Bank global rankings: Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market

By: Hatem Mohamed- Business Editor ABU DHABI, 12th September, 2017 (WAM) -- The UAE maintains its competitiveness in terms of "Ease of Doing Business" in the World Bank’s global rankings, according to Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market.

In statements to Emirates News Agency, WAM, after yesterday's launch of the Global Financial Centres Index where Abu Dhabi ranked among the top 25 cities in the world in terms of economic competitiveness, Al Sayegh said, "With a well-structured and comprehensive diversification economic vision and strategy apace, the Abu Dhabi Government has continuously introduced new initiatives, made concerted efforts across the key growth industries and progressed steadily towards its goals in developing a sustainable, knowledge-based economy that is bolstered by private sector activities and investment across a range of sectors in the UAE."

On whether the current geopolitical conditions the region is going through would have an impact on the country’s domestic economic on the medium or long terms, Al Sayegh said that Abu Dhabi’s initiatives and efforts to enhance its strengths as a financial centre are likely to mitigate any potential threat, especially in light of the country’s embrace of FinTech.

"As the International Financial Centre of Abu Dhabi and the Financial Services Regulator, ADGM embraces all aspects of innovation that enable growth and facilitate greater developments and supports Abu Dhabi in preparing for the future to face up to all challenges. The FinTech efforts by Abu Dhabi and ADGM were recognised early this year at the Innovate Finance Global Summit held in London. Abu Dhabi, with Abu Dhabi Global Market representing its Fintech Hub in advancing Fintech developments, has been ranked as the top FinTech Hub for the MENA region in the latest Global FinTech Hubs Review, "A Tale of 44 Cities", by Deloitte in partnership with the Global FinTech Hubs Federation."

He added that the FinTech Hubs report provides insights of FinTech activities across 44 FinTech Hubs, assessing each hub on six categories including the ease of launching a Fintech business in the hub, the competitiveness of the financial centre and the extent of innovation in the economy. "

"The report has pointed out that Abu Dhabi, being located in the East-West corridor, is well-positioned to be the FinTech nexus for the MENA region. Abu Dhabi is citied as the economic centre of the United Arab Emirates and provides a strong financial centre; political stability; internationally aligned regulatory and judicial regimes; a business-friendly environment; excellent technology infrastructure and availability of capital.:"

This recognition, he continues to say, is a strong endorsement of the initiatives and efforts that ADGM has introduced to develop both the regulatory framework and ecosystem needed to support the ambition of Fintech stakeholders. "ADGM has created many firsts in the MENA region, including the first to formulate a regulatory regime to licence FinTech participants; the first to develop a Regulatory Laboratory that provides a safe and controlled environment to foster Fintech innovation; and the first jurisdiction to establish a FinTech Bridge with Singapore that offers Fintech stakeholders greater access to markets, capital and regulatory recognition."

"The strategic support of our government, MoU partners and the community has been instrumental to the advancement of the Fintech growth and activities in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. As the FinTech Hub, ADGM has established and in the process of finalising about eight FinTech bridges with key international financial centres and jurisdictions in the recent six months. These cross-border partnerships enable ADGM to maintain a practical, open and inclusive global FinTech centre that has been serving the communities in Abu Dhabi and the greater MENA region. As a global FinTech Hub, ADGM continues to enhance its international network with the MENA region, Asia, Australia, US, UK, Europe to facilitate greater access to markets, capital and regulatory recognition for Fintech players. ADGM actively engages its stakeholders, forge partnerships and collaborations to develop a conducive and effective FinTech ecosystem."

On the possibility of having partnerships in the pipeline between ADGM and other global financial entities, the AGM Chairman said, "As a member of the global financial eco-system, ADGM continues to establish new strategic cross-border partnerships and work closely with like-minded local and international financial centres and authorities to foster an open and sustainable marketplace. We believe that greater co-operation amongst authorities and relevant regulators will continue to make significant influence and contributions towards the economic growth of the UAE and its wider region, particularly in today’s dynamic business environment."

With regards to ADGM's outlook of the future of Islamic finance in Abu Dhabi, Al Sayegh said, "Based on global reports, we have seen that the Islamic finance sector is a rapidly expanding part of the global financial system and great potential for growth. As an IFC and regulator, ADGM will continue to foster and provide an open, efficiency, trusted and global platform to enable and support conventional and Shariah-compliant financial services and industry participants to thrive and succeed."


WAM/Hatem Mohamed