UAE partners with WEF to support trade tech initiative
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UAE partners with WEF to support trade tech initiative

UAE partners with WEF to support trade tech initiative

The new initiative aims to digitalise international supply chains to enable faster and cost-efficient trade

UAE partners with WEF to support trade tech initiative

The UAE has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the World Economic Forum to support its new Trade Tech Initiative.

The initiative aims to accelerate the digitisation of international supply chains, enhance customs procedures and improve developing countries’ access to the global trading system.

The agreement, which was signed during the WEF annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, will support the UAE’s efforts to deliver the initiative’s four key components.

These include a global forum to gather trade, industry and technology leaders to share best-practice; an annual research report into the trade tech landscape; a regulatory sandbox to enable companies and startups to experiment with trade-tech innovations; and an incubator for promising startups in the trade tech space.

The Trade Tech Initiative is a crucial step in modernising global trade, using the tools of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to reduce the cumbersome and inefficient paper-based processes that continue to dominate supply chains, said Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade.

“At a time when global supply chains are still recovering from the impact of the pandemic, we believe it is essential to harness the benefits of advanced technology to catalyse global trade. From using artificial intelligence to automate customs processes and warehouse management to deploying blockchain to revolutionise trade finance, cross-border payments, and know-your-customer procedures, the potential for enhancement is limitless,” he added.

“International buy-in and regulatory frameworks are essential for these ideas to take root. In 2024, the UAE will host MC13, the leading decision-making body of the World Trade Organisation, and we are determined to build consensus over the next 12 months to begin pioneering a new era of fully digitized, operationally efficient global trade.”

The UAE’s economy has made a strong recovery from the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic. The country’s overall GDP is projected to grow over 6 per cent in 2022, after increasing by 3.8 per cent in 2021, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said.

Read: UAE’s GDP to grow more than 6% in 2022, says IMF

The UAE’s non-oil foreign trade amounted to Dhs1.053tn in the first half of 2022, growing 17 per cent compared to a year-earlier period.

Read: UAE’s non-oil trade rises 17% to exceed Dhs1tn in H1 2022

“We believe the UAE’s new Trade Tech Initiative further strengthens our efforts to enable traders to export and import seamlessly by accelerating the digitisation of supply chains, and enhancing customs procedures,” added Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED).

The WEF annual meeting in Davos is taking place under the theme ‘Cooperation in a fragmented world’, convening over 2,700 government and business leaders to engage in dialogues and help find solutions through public-private cooperation.

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