The positive power of multinational cooperation
Ramy Zaki discusses the launch of a new high-profile business group, and how private-public engagement will improve the UAE's business environment
THIS MARCH, I was present at an extraordinary event. Twenty-nine multinational companies – the majority of them Fortune 500 – came together alongside government officials to launch the Multinational Company Business Group, or MCBG for short. During the launch of the MCBG, each of us underlined our commitment to building a better, more competitive business environment in Dubai, the UAE and the broader region, by doing something that is still a bit unusual for the Gulf. Through the MCBG, and with the support of our partners and friends at the Dubai Chamber where this Business Group is registered, we are committed to engaging with the authorities and promoting dialogue between business and government on a host of relevant business, investment and trade policy matters. Why are we doing this you may ask? My answer is simple. Dubai and the UAE has become a global hub, competing with the likes of London, New York and Singapore. In each of these cities and states, you will find a large number of platforms for the private and public sectors to exchange knowledge and ideas, in an effort to improve legislation and by extension promote sustainable economic development that leads to inclusive growth.
Till now, there haven't been such mechanisms or platforms dedicated to both private-public policy dialogue and partnership in this region. The MCBG aims to change this; it endeavours to act as a meeting platform, a catalyst of privatepublic policy dialogue and exchange for the greater benefit of economies, the communities where we operate and our business. We believe that a productive dialogue can create considerable win-wins and help boost competitiveness of Dubai and of the UAE. As part of our commitment, we are bringing together expertise from various sectors, including manufacturing, technology, energy, food and beverage, automotive and allied industries, energy, fast moving consumer goods, healthcare, insurance and retail. Global experience that, if combined, would span hundreds of years. Our membership includes Abbott, Alshaya, BASF, Beiersdorf, Clorox, The Coca- Cola Company, Dow, Danone, Estee Lauder, Ferrero, GE, General Mills, General Motors, Henkel, Johnson & Johnson, Goodyear, KimberlyClark, Kellogg's, L'Oréal, Mars, MetLife, Mondelez, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Reckitt Benckiser, Shell, Tetra Pak and Unilever.
We want to place this global knowledge of all these leading companies at the disposal of Dubai, the UAE and the wider region, to help shape world- class investment, business, industry and trade policies that will make this place an even more attractive place to do business in. Through open and constructive privatepublic dialogue, I sincerely hope and believe that the MCBG can act as a catalyst for positive change, through which we can jointly shape the bestin- class investment, business and trade policies and in turn reinforce Dubai's and the UAE's role as a regional and global leader for the wider business community.
As the voice of the global and panregional business community in the region, the MCBG will seek to partner with government on challenges and opportunities that impact the business, investment and trade climate. By joining as one, and sharing our ideas and knowledge with the government and other stakeholders, we will make Dubai the best place in the world to do business.
With the encouraging and strong support of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and its president and CEO Hamad Buamim, we have already begun working with the government on a number of concepts that will positively impact business here in Dubai and the UAE.
Ultimately, as the MCBG we believe that private sector can and should play a greater role in supporting and promoting a highly competitive policy environment that ensures Dubai is the foremost global business hub. This approach to policy creation will benefit everyone, including consumers, the economy, the government's agenda, and the business community.
A prosperous economy spurs job creation, and it benefits us all. By promoting collaboration between business and government we will be in a better position to deliver and sustain long-term growth for Dubai and the wider Gulf. And it is a vision that unites us all.