Dr. Maryam Buti AL Suwaidi
On my behalf and on behalf of all the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) staff, I would like to express our sincerest gratitude and appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for their enduring support to the efforts made by all institutions and departments, including the SCA. I wish to emphasize the keenness of our staff to continue to work hard and follow the directives of the wise leadership to advance the interest of our national economy.
Perhaps economic performance has always been a metric for success, which is so clearly manifested in the economic boom the country experienced over the past five decades, a boom, the likes of which the world has rarely seen. When it comes to domestic capital markets, the Morgan Stanley Capital International’s (MSCI) announcement upgrading the financial markets in the UAE from frontier- to emerging-market status, is a case in point. The SCA has been collaborating with the Exchanges to formulate a strategy and sketch out a roadmap for further upgrading the UAE markets to the status of advanced markets.
Working to promote markets in the UAE requires innovative and unconventional solutions that provide modern new tools that suit the diverse financing needs to underpin growth and promote investments and employment. The SCA’s management is well aware of the importance of setting a future vision and an ambitious strategy that keeps pace with and complements the major policy measures taken in the recent past to enhance the role of the capital markets in the economic development of the country.
Believing in the instrumental role the capital markets sector can play in keeping pace with the rapid developments and the accelerating growth rates of business communities and in addressing the need for innovative financial solutions, the SCA’s management is planning to release a uniform strategy to develop capital markets and create a clear institutional framework for managing and spearheading the restructuring and strategic planning processes with the aim of promoting the role of the capital markets sector, raising market efficiency to achieve the stated targets, underpinning plans for sustainable economic development, promoting the investment climate, increasing savings rate, strengthening financial inclusion, and facilitating access to finance.
The development strategy aims at introducing fundamental reforms to achieve ambitious goals and drive the capital markets sector transformation, from a conventional sector to one that is modern, more dynamic, continually developing, and driven by technology, creativity, and innovation. Such sector will be better able to enhance the competitiveness of the national economy and its attractiveness to foreign investors, keep pace with developments, respond to development plans with greater resilience and efficiency, and offer services to small and medium enterprises, thus becoming a major catalyst for production and operation to strengthen financial inclusion and contribute to sustainable development.
The SCA is intending to implement an array of cutting-edge projects in the coming period. They will be centered on enhancing securities regulations, raising investor awareness, investor safety, mitigating systemic risks, and enforcing sound disclosure practices. Among these projects is the regulation of crowdfunding platforms and other platforms for offering and trading crypto assets, which provide investors with unconventional investment instruments that save time and effort. Other projects include encouraging platforms that encourage innovation in financial services to improve capital markets, the launch of a platform for issuing and listing shares of free zone companies in the country, the reinvigoration of the debt instruments market, and the implementation of programs to encourage the issuance of bonds and debt instruments in the private and public sectors. These will help provide investors with investment alternatives and set the stage for domestic markets to streamline the clearing and settlement of government debt instruments.
The SCA is determined to actively implement and fully comply with the principles outlined in the UAE’s ten-principle charter. This charter serves as a guide for action for the next fifty years and a strategic trajectory that informs SCA’s efforts to contribute to the achievement of the country’s overarching goal of providing a decent life for the UAE people in line with the vision of the founding fathers.
The accomplishments made over the past years not only represent an added value to the SCA’s established track record, but also serve as a step towards rolling out initiatives to create a model investment environment with the greatest degrees of transparency, integrity, and competitiveness, thereby helping to translate into action the SCA’s plan and primary objective of promoting the country’s markets to advanced-market status and achieving the National Agenda goals and the UAE Vision to make the country among the best in the world.
Finally, I would like to extend my thanks to the SCA staff, strategic partners, and stakeholders in the capital markets sector. Efforts to contribute to the advancement of our strategy to improve the capital markets sector are especially welcome as I believe that team work is the way to attain desired goals.