The General Authority for Regulating the Telecommunications Sector (TRA) announced the launch of the first phase of the "‘Bashr” initiative, one of the most important strategic initiatives implemented and developed through close and constructive cooperation with all local and federal government departments and entities involved in licensing economic activities in the UAE. This initiative aims to promote UAE’s competitiveness in doing business by allowing to tart business in simple, fast steps taking no more than 15 minutes.
In this respect, H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, TRA Director General, said: "Bashr" initiative is based on the UAE vision to enhance the business environment to build a competitive, knowledge-based economy. As a result, it focuses on the UAE becoming the economic, touristic and commercial capital for more than two billion people by providing and developing specific world-class initiatives with international standards and a stimulating regulatory environment that attracts investments. He noted that the initiative contributes to the achievement of the objectives of the National Agenda for UAE Vision 2021, and has been adopted based on the results of the annual meetings of the UAE government through the theme of smart services.
H.E. added: "This initiative is part of the directives of the supreme leadership highlighting the need to shape the future to ensure sustainability, competitiveness and leadership of our beloved country and the prosperity of the business community. The process for setting up businesses will be quick and easy and will override any cumbersome procedures. The initiative operates on a comprehensive, nationwide scale, involving federal and local actions, thus reflecting the scale of partnership in the delivery of the same between various federal and local government entities, especially economic development departments in the UAE.
H.E. continued: "On this occasion, I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to our colleagues in the various relevant entities, who worked hand in hand, succeeded in overcoming many challenges and determined to meet the high expectations of their wise leadership."
H.E. Eng. Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary for Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Economy, said: the "Bashr” initiative is one of the most important national initiatives that are in line with UAE's efforts to promote a flexible and well-developed business environment and establish the UAE as an ideal investment destination.
Al Shehhi added that the initiative will ensure shortening the time taken to establish companies, and providing a smart national platform for customers to complete their business registration from any location in the UAE within 15 minutes by simple, online transactions without the need for paperwork. Therefore, such initiative addresses investor needs and responds to UAE’s aspirations and serves the UAE's development objectives.
The signing of the agreement today is an essential step in moving from planning to creating the right environment and establishing an integrated system to activate this initiative, by providing a smart platform and integrating with all the entities involved in the establishment of business within the UAE at the federal and local levels, thus achieving the desired goals and ensuring sustainability of that platform, which will in turn provide an updated and accurate database of all businesses in the various emirates.
H.E. added that the Ministry of Economy is collaborating with the TRA to implement this ambitious initiative, along with a number of other initiatives in cooperation and coordination with various federal and local entities, to stimulate and develop an attractive and distinctive business environment in the UAE.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Bin Taliah, Assistant Director General of Government Services at the Prime Minister's Office in the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, affirmed that the development of an incubator and a business-stimulating environment is a key direction of the UAE government, which believes that achieving comprehensive sustainable development based on a strong future knowledge economy requires strengthening the business sector in various areas.
Bin Taliah mentioned, the “Bashr” initiative is a translation to this direction through the delivery of facilities, quick and efficient processing of business creation transactions. The initiative reflects complementarity in the efforts of competent government entities, which, through this initiative offer a comprehensive service package that facilitates the customer journey and raises the levels of happiness and quality of life in the UAE.
On this occasion, Dr. Abdulrahman Al Shayeb Al Naqbi, General Director of the Department of Economic Development in Ras Al Khaimah, stated that the launch of the first phase of the “Bashr” initiative in cooperation with RAK's DED would not have been possible without the close collaboration with the TRA and the commendable efforts made by the various local departments within the Emirate (as part of the initiative’s executive team), such as Ras Al Khaimah Courts, Ras Al Khaimah Chamber, Finance Department, Ras Al Khaimah Municipality and the Electronic Government Authority to provide all necessary technical, procedural and logistical requirements for the implementation of this initiative. We are confident that the rest of relevant local entities in the UAE will work on the successful implementation of the later stages. This reflects the keenness of all entities to provide the best services and minimize bureaucratic burdens to improve the business environment and raise international competitiveness in all international forums and reports in order to strengthen the UAE’s global standing as a preferred investment destination for global investors.
H.E. Khalifa bin Salem Al Mansouri, Undersecretary of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, affirmed the keenness of Abu Dhabi’s government to support initiatives, programs and strategic projects aimed at achieving the objectives of the National Agenda of UAE Vision 2021.
"This initiative is in line with Abu Dhabi’s government drive to make a global paradigm shift in terms of licensing economic activities to investors at the state level," he said in a statement.
H.E. Khalifa Al Mansouri also stressed Abu Dhabi’s DED keenness to provide all forms of support for the “Bashr” initiative with the aim to upgrade the government action system at the federal level and support the overall development process in various sectors to serve UAE’s economy and society in general.
He also praised the efforts of the TRA to launch this initiative, which would enhance the competitiveness of the UAE in the International Business Report through introducing programs and initiatives that will accelerate UAE’s pace of economic growth.
Mr. Ali Ibrahim, Deputy Director General of Department of Economic Development in Dubai said: “We thank the General Authority for Regulating the Telecommunications Sector for launching the “Bashr” initiative, which will contribute to strengthening UAE's competitiveness in doing business. The signing of this agreement reflects the cooperation and coordination between the federal and local government entities and the concern of official bodies to work collaboratively and contribute to achieving the strategic vision aimed at establishing the UAE as an attractive investment destination for business in various economic fields.”
H.E. Sultan Abdullah Bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Sharjah Economic Development Department, said that " Bashr " initiative comes in line with the outcomes of the 2017 Annual Meetings of the Government of the UAE. This initiative will contribute to the development and enhancement of all respects of the investment environment for businessmen and investors.
The initiative is aimed at facilitating the establishment of new businesses and companies by providing a smart national platform with a cutting-edge technology, which allows customers to complete all procedures of establishing and registering companies in just 15 minutes in all of the emirates, H.E. said.
H.E. added that the initiative is carried out in partnership between all government entities involved in the licensing of businesses, the aim of which is to increase UAE’s competitiveness in issuing licenses and finish the whole process within 15 minutes. This initiative is a product of the corporate partnership between the federal government and local governments, and is being overseen by the TRA.
H.E. Ali Issa Al Nuaimi, Director-General of Ajman DED, stressed the importance of the initiative as a qualitative achievement in the development of innovative and integrated government services that make customers happy, emphasizing that the DED is committed to the success of such initiatives as part of its constant commitment to support national efforts to create a fair investment environment in the various Emirates, thus contributing to UAE's leadership on the world economic map. He added: “The new initiative paves the way for simplifying and facilitating the customer journey, while saving time and effort in the necessary steps for carrying out economic activities in favour of economic diversification, which in turn strengthens the confidence of regional and international investors in light of the promising opportunities of the local investment environment.”
Al Nuaimi concluded: “We look forward to continuing fruitful cooperation and genuine partnership with all federal and local government entities involved in licensing economic activities in order to improve the quality and efficiency of provided services, which would attract foreign investments to the UAE, in an effort to translate the aspirations of our leadership to build a diversified and sustainable competitive economy.”
H.E. Mansour bin Sultan Al Kharji, Director General of Department of Economic Development in Umm al-Quwain said: "The launch of the “Bashr” service marks a new start for government integration at the local and federal levels. It is an important service to promote economic and investment activity in the UAE, especially in the sustainability stage, which is based on strengthening UAE’s leadership.”
Ibrahim Al Khadeem, Director of Corporate Support Services at Dibba Municipality, member of the leadership team for smart service initiatives, noted that the “Start Your Business in 15 Minutes” initiative comes in implementation of the outcomes of annual meetings of the UAE government, complementing the UAE's plan for smart transformation in the government services sector in an innovative, more sophisticated and globally competitive manner. One of these outcomes is this unique initiative that will allow starting new businesses in just 15 minutes.
He added: “The initiative will contribute to the development and enhancement of the investment environment in all its aspects. It will help businessmen and investors in facilitating the establishment of their new businesses and companies by providing a smart national platform with a cutting-edge technology that allows them to complete all procedures of establishing and registering new companies in just 15 minutes.”
Al Khadeem thanked the TRA and all government departments, organizations and competent entities for putting this initiative into practice and for their keenness to facilitate procedures and provide the best services to customers and investors in the country and to promote the active partnership between federal and local government entities, thereby supporting the goals of UAE Vision 2021’s National Agenda and strengthening its leading position globally.
H.E. Eng. Mohamed Saif Al-Afkham, Director General of Fujairah Municipality, said: "The UAE has always been a unique example of sustained economic growth driven by innovation, high productivity and an environment in which doing business is the easiest. In turn, the UAE has been nominated to be among the best in the world in ease of doing business, innovation, global competitiveness and other indicators. The "Start Your Business” initiative boosts UAE's standing as one of the top 20 most competitive economies in the world, and asserts its eligibility to be at the forefront of the efficient government index.
Al-Afkham pointed out that such initiative provides excellent, distinguished and prompt services to customers in an innovative way by combining six potential visits to finalize a trade license into one visit not exceeding fifteen minutes, after which the customer receives the license. He stressed that this smart national platform and its advanced technological system are a testament to the uniqueness of the future smart government (that is quick in its transactions, robust in its procedures, highly adaptive, brings about solutions to challenges, simplifies people's lives and achieves their happiness). as outlined by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
He then thanked all the federal and local departments involved in the success of the "Start Your Business" initiative, stressing that the praiseworthy efforts made by them reinforce the meaning of being the happiest nation and how we can make others happy.
In turn, H.E. Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of Smart Dubai Office said: “The launch of “Bashr” initiative comes as part of an integrated system to bring about innovative and smart digital identity and signature solutions that will culminate in Dubai Smart’s partnership with the TRA. The system aims to enhance the performance of the investment sector and support investors by easing business and saving time and effort, in line with the vision of our leadership and objectives of the UAE Centennial 2071.”
H.E added: "We are pleased today to complete the first phase of this system through the launch of “Digital Identity”, which seeks to standardize the process of electronic authentication and signature at the state level for the public and private sectors to enable future life experiences (provided by smart cities) for UAE residents and visitors, and promote happiness and human well-being by employing state-of-the-art technology to deliver comprehensive and sustainable services."
For his part, H.E. Saif Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation for Human Resources Affairs, stressed the importance of the "Start Your Business in 15 Minutes” initiative as it meets the needs of the labor market and the modern economic model to reach a flexible knowledge economy. It is also of a positive value to the national economy as the initiative supports the business environment and promotes the building of a national economy on the basis of competitiveness and innovation according to the goals of the mGovernment.
He added that the initiative comes in implementation of the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, towards the transition to the post-oil economy and the realization of UAE Vision 2021.
Al Suwaidi explained that the Ministry played a key role in supporting the initiative, especially in reducing the time it takes to document and complete transactions electronically, in particular with regard to the procedures of opening the establishment card and issuance of three work permits according to quality and excellence standards in the provision of services, and through innovative, user-friendly mechanisms supported by modern technologies and smart phone apps.
The Undersecretary at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation added that the initiative will have an effective impact on the business community as a smart innovative platform based on integrating the services of organizations and entities working in the business sector through comprehensive investor and businessman packages.
H.E. Saeed Rashed Al Yateem, Assistant Undersecretary of the Budget and Revenue Department for the Ministry of Finance, affirmed MoF's commitment to support and engage in all initiatives aimed at promoting the business environment to build a competitive, innovative, and knowledge-based economy and ultimately contribute to the achievement of the objectives of UAE Vision 2021’s National Agenda. This will also result in increased cooperation with various government entities, particularly the General Authority for Regulating the Telecommunications Sector, to facilitate the establishment of businesses and companies in the UAE.
H.E. said: "The MoF will provide, through the e-Dirham system, a dedicated e-payment portal. It will also provide support to both customers and entities in the area of payment and cash collection to allow for greater flexibility in the payment of service fees in the business sector. The e-Dirham system has proved its success in the areas of non-cash payment, to be one of the most secure, convenient and integrated e-payment channels.”
On another note, Lt. Colonel Matar Kharbash, Head of e-Services Department at the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), said: “the ICA will perform all the necessary roles to accomplish the “Start Your Business in 15 Minutes” initiative, especially in the provision and management of digital certificates and support for the unified digital identity. ICA will also coordinate with the TRA to address problems and modernize customer service." He added that the ICA will work to manage and improve enterprise operations in terms of obtaining initial approvals, establishment card among others, and the implementation of all agreed changes and updates.
The initiative includes coordinated action on several themes, including: The legislative theme, which includes the development, amendment and activation of laws and regulations to keep abreast of technical advances and meet the objectives of the mGovernment; the technical theme, which includes technical systems, data quality, electronic connectivity and data exchange between entities; and finally the procedural theme of the initiative, which includes process re-engineering, and shortening of steps and time to establish businesses.
The first phase of the initiative involves the electronic establishment of companies at all stages including: Issuing a new trade license and establishment card in the Federal Authority For Identity And Citizenship; issuing an establishment card in the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization and other procedures that will be added in the future, as well as electronic data sharing to streamline procedures, improve data accuracy, adopt a standard fees collection mechanism and a unified digital identity and electronic signature.
The launch of the first phase of the initiative is the culmination of coordination and cooperation between relevant government entities at the local and federal levels, and the embodiment of their understanding of their strategic role in promoting the economy, facilitating and attracting investments and establishing businesses to enhance their engagement and emphasize the importance of government integration to implement the national agenda. The next phase will see the on-boarding of the remaining local entities overseeing the licensing of activities in the rest of the emirates that have shown unparalleled cooperation in implementing all requirements of the initiative and catering to the necessary technical and logistical requirements.