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Tue 17 Apr 2007 11:20 AM

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Mohammed: UAE growth must be 'sustainable'

UAE Prime Minister promises 'synergy between the federal and the local governments'.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, has unveiled the UAE Federal Strategy in Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Mohammed said in his speech that the core objectives of the strategy will be to "focus on achieving sustainable and balanced development and a high quality of life for all UAE nationals".

"As we present this strategy, which sets the foundations for a new era of public administration, we remember the devotion with which our founding fathers built this nation and aimed to give its people a better life."

"The changing times and the nature of the challenges prompt us to think in a different way and to adopt international best practices in the area of public administration. Hence this strategy, that unifies efforts within a strategic framework with clear objectives based on detailed studies, clearly identifies and integrates federal and local efforts".

The UAE government strategy - which is comprised of 21 topics under six major sectors - follows a number of general principles, according to the state news agency WAM. These are:

- Maintain continuous co-operation between federal and local authorities.

- Revitalise the regulatory and policy making role of the ministries, and improve decision-making mechanisms.

- Increase the efficiency of government bodies and upgrade the level of services based on customer needs.

- Develop civil service regulations and human resources, focusing on competence, effective 'Emiratisation' and leadership training.

- Empower ministries to manage their activities in line with public and joint policies.

- Review and upgrade legislation and regulation.

Those principles will be implemented within the six major sectors of the UAE government strategy: social development, economic development, public sector development, justice and safety, infrastructure and rural development.

Sheikh Mohammed said: "We realise that the current disposition of each of the six sectors is confused, lacks strategic planning and proper policy making and suffers from deficiencies in the legislative and regulatory framework.

"I believe that the reason for this situation is the dimension and speed of change that has dominated the international arena during the past few years. The slow pace by which federal institutions, in all parts of the world, responded to this change has not made it any better, primarily due to the nature and complexity of the federal state where the process of decision making goes through a longer path than in simple mono-provincial states.

"I am confident that by bringing in change to federal government processes will not only improve the efficiency of the government, but will also enhance and improve the mechanism of co-operation between the federal and the local governments.

"Creating synergy between the federal and the local governments is one of the most important and vital elements of development underlined in this strategy. The federal government specialises in all legislations pertaining to economic, trade, labour, education and healthcare regulations. The federal government should be attuned to all changes and developments as the local governments are responsible for implementing most activities that support the development of the country. Wherever both fail to establish a sound platform for collaboration, gaps [are] certain to be found."

Held under the patronage of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ceremony - at the exclusive Emirates Palace hotel - was held in the presence of the rulers of the seven emirates, members of the Supreme Council, cabinet ministers and more than 1000 senior federal government officials.

The strategy is the result of six months' work by various ministerial committees. A statement issued by the state-connected public relations company Jiwin said that the strategy 'will mark a new beginning in the performance of government sector in the UAE'.

H.E. Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, said: "The Federal strategy announcement comes at a significantly opportune time for the country. Promoting the federal government's performance, enhancing the country's competency level, and unleashing development potentials on all fronts have become the essential prerequisites that mandate immediate action.

"The strategy seeks to overcome a number of challenges to consolidate the country's leadership position regionally and internationally. A World Economic Forum report recently said that the UAE has the most competitive economy in the Arab world. This is a valid testimony to the country's unlimited potential," Al Gergawi added.

In February, Sheikh Mohammed revealed the

Dubai Strategic Plan

, in which he said that Dubai plans to achieve economic growth of 11% a year to 2015.

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