The Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in cooperation with The Pakistan Business Professional Council Abu Dhabi, organized a seminar on Corporate Social Responsibility – Definition, Core Issues and Recent Developments, on Tuesday, 23 January 2018 at the Chamber’s Tower in Abu Dhabi.
His Excellency Mohamed Helal Al-Muhairi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Chamber; His Excellency Juma Mohammed Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary for Foreign Trade Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Economy; His Excellency Rashed Al Blooshi, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX); Dr. S. Qaiser Anis, President of Pakistan Business Professional Council Abu Dhabi; and a number of Abu Dhabi Chamber Board Members and members of business councils in Abu Dhabi attended the seminar.
In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Abdullah Ghurair Al-Qubaisi, Deputy Director General of the Abu Dhabi Chamber, said that social responsibility has become one of the key means of achieving the desired growth, especially that it reflects the strategy of companies and their core identities.
“Social responsibility strengthens the relationship between the company and its employees, customers and investors. Many companies now realize the importance of reaching out to its customers by taking humanitarian and social initiatives, which would contribute positively to the fame of such companies and to the economy as a whole in general, which, in turn, would increase growth rates and profits at the same time,” Al-Qubaisi said.
The Deputy Director General stated that the Abu Dhabi Chamber took the responsibility to support the different social responsibilities. It held partnerships over the past few years with many bodies and establishments in order to perform its role towards the society and its efforts to spread the culture of social responsibility amongst companies in Abu Dhabi.
Al-Qubaisi concluded his remarks by praising the efforts of the Pakistan Business Professional Council Abu Dhabi in organizing the seminar and to spread awareness amongst Pakistani companies.
For his part, H.E. Juma Mohammed Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary for Foreign Trade Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Economy, said in a speech he delivered during the seminar: “It is our great privilege to join you in this pioneering Seminar on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which is taking place in conjunction with the launch of the Year of Zayed this 2018 which commemorates the legacies of Our Founding Father, H.H. the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.”
Al Kait added: “This event is taking place at a time when the UAE economy is continuing its positive development path. Our nation remains one of the few oil-producing economies that have successfully diversified its sources of income, maintained balanced growth rates and a strong and stable economic environment, and enhanced its regional and international competitiveness.”
The Assistant Undersecretary pointed out that the productivity of the UAE has remained strong despite the pressures and challenges of the last few years, maintaining its position as the second largest Arab economy and one of the most important destinations in the region and the world for trade, investment, and economic activities.
By the end of 2016, the UAE’s GDP was close to AED 1.4 trillion (at constant prices), achieving a growth rate of 3 percent over 2015.
“Nationwide economic diversification will proceed with the goal of raising the GDP share of the non-oil sectors to 80 percent by 2021,” he said. “IMF forecasts indicate that the UAE economy will grow by 3.4 percent in 2018. For the first half of 2017, the value of non-oil foreign trade stood at AED 784 billion to surpass the same period in 2016 by nearly 1 percent. We expect final reports to reflect total trade of close to AED 1.7 trillion in 2017.”
Rashed Al Blooshi, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), said that social responsibility is amongst the top priorities of the government. “ADX is one of the integrated development poles of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. It succeeded in making 2016 a year of digital transformation by providing a number of innovations.”
“ADX is the best destination to provide services for customers,” he noted, pointing to the possibility of providing the services of the electronic platform of ADX in record time of less than 60 seconds.
“Social responsibility is very important to companies. It has become a necessity to express the identity and core values,” he added, emphasizing on the need for companies to share their experiences and successes in regard to social responsibility.
The CEO pointed to the need to expand the prospect of social responsibility considering its outcomes in increasing the loyalty and trust of employees and customers in the trademark, which is one of the key elements of any company.
Dr. S. Qaiser Anis, President of Pakistan Business Professional Council Abu Dhabi, emphasized on the importance of social responsibility and the need for companies to perform their roles towards the society, the environment and charity works.
“Social responsibility plays a major role during economic crises and recessions because social responsibility contributes towards easing the burdens on budgets and offer services to the needy and economically weak classes,” he remarked.
“Governments perform their roles; however, companies and establishments should play a considerable and important role towards the society. This is not limited to a company or an establishment but involves all those who live on this land,” he added.
Dr. Anis extended his thanks and appreciation to the Abu Dhabi Chamber and representatives of businesses groups in Abu Dhabi for organizing this important seminar which aims at informing and educating companies about the importance of corporate social responsibility and the techniques of minimalizing risks in addition to managing reporting issues and the role internal audit plays in the corporate social responsibility.