By Bernd Debusmann Jr
In the first phase, the economy will reopen supported by incentives for the private sector that are at $80bn so far
The UAE has unveiled a two-phase plan to reopen the country’s economy and strengthen it in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri announced on Tuesday.
During a virtual meeting with government representatives on Tuesday, Al Mansouri said that the first stage of the plan – which is focused on the short-term – includes the gradual reopening of businesses, supported by stimulus plans that so far total AED 282.5 billion ($79 billion).
According to Al Mansouri, the second-phase is designed to accelerate recovery and advance growth, with a high focus on the digital economy and technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, 5G networks, the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities.
The second phase of the strategy will also focus on blockchain, the ‘green economy’ and renewable energy, electric cars, 3d printing, biotech, genetic engineering and robotics.
No timeline was given.
“We call on the private sector to prepare for the digital economy phase that will drive the recovery, nurture future employment skills and shift towards integrating technology at every stage of production to ensure business continuity and growth in the future,” Al Mansouri added.
He added that a large focus will be on encouraging national industries, securing the provision of necessities and exploring the diversification of industrial imports.