Ministry of Economy, Harvard University partner to support UAE’s economic policy

ABU DHABI, The Ministry of Economy (MoE) signed a cooperation agreement with the Harvard University’s Growth Lab to develop a two-year joint work programme.

Through this programme, the University’s leading academic expertise will be deployed to build evidence-based economic analyses and new economic models to support economic policies in the UAE, and to strengthen the economic capability in the UAE Government.

The agreement was signed during a virtual meeting attended by Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; a number of senior Ministry officials; and Professor Ricardo Hausmann, Director of Harvard Growth Lab, along with Professor Robert Lawrence and other officials from the Harvard University and several national universities in the UAE.

Bin Touq said, “The partnership with Harvard University’s Growth Lab falls in line with our efforts to develop a new model for the formulation of future economic policies according to a proactive and flexible approach, in partnership with the national universities and the global academic community.”

He added, ‘The new agreement represents a major milestone that paves the way towards the establishment of the ‘UAE Growth Lab’, which was launched His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, during his visit to the Ministry’s headquarters last June. The Lab is based on three main pillars, namely, the cooperation programme with four leading national universities, including the United Arab Emirates University, Zayed University, the American University of Sharjah, and New York University Abu Dhabi, in addition to the cooperation agreement between MoE and the University of Birmingham in UK to provide academic and research support for UAE’s economic development policies and initiatives. Finally, the cooperation with Harvard University’s Growth Lab will now provide experimental and theoretical models to test the proposed economic policies in the UAE and measure their long-term impact.”

The Minister of Economy continued, “There is no doubt that knowledge, talent and creative minds are the main pillars of the new economy and the primary engine of future growth. The ‘Projects of the 50’ announced recently by the government of the UAE further demonstrates this trend in terms of initiatives related to the restructuring of the residence and visa system, the type of investments to be attracted, and the form of new business partnerships and the targeted global markets. All these initiatives are aimed at building and strengthening the country’s capabilities in the knowledge sectors and new economy fields.”

He explained that cooperation with academic and educational institutions plays a pivotal role in building and developing human capital and knowledge economy tools. He added that the cooperation with Harvard Growth Lab represents a new experience in the formulation of the features and policies of the future economy, by linking academic research and employing data and modern economic models in the formulation of policies.

Meanwhile, Hausmann said that the UAE has highly competitive economic components that enhance its ability to deal with various global challenges. The country was therefore able to navigate them successfully with a clear vision to develop opportunities in new sectors that serve growth requirements and further enhance its position as a destination for business and finance in the region. He also underlined the importance of the agreement signed between the Lab and the Ministry of Economy in building a framework for promoting this trend in the future through the implementation of specialised research and the development of economic policies and innovative development programmes.

Hausmann added, “The economic openness policies adopted by the UAE, its capabilities in terms of infrastructure, technology, transport and logistics services, and the investor-friendly and attractive business environment, contributed to strengthening the country’s position as a preferred destination for multinational companies to open their regional headquarters in. The methodology adopted by the UAE to deal with the challenges imposed by the global pandemic provided the world with an important lesson about the ability to anticipate opportunities and transform challenges into development and a more flexible economic model. This made the UAE one of the fastest countries to overcome the recession and restrictions imposed by the pandemic, placing its national economic growth on the right track and moving towards new international partnerships.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the Harvard Growth Lab will allocate the resources required to support the various functions of research development in the areas of growth, trade, investment, competition, as well as other areas related to sustainable growth. In addition, this will include the designing and implementation of policies aimed at building research skills and capabilities and strengthening the use of data in data-based research and analysis.

The Harvard Growth Lab is specialised in theoretical and empirical research on the determinants of growth and its social, political, and environmental sustainability. It focuses on 4 main pillars: economic complexity, which aims to measure the macroeconomic; the growth diagnostics, which is a methodology for identifying obstacles to the ability of countries to grow; inclusive growth which consists of measuring the ability to achieve comprehensive growth and ways to increase productivity; skills and human capital including the workforce in knowledge-producing sectors.

Source: Emirates News Agency

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