Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi
Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi Kamil Rogalinski/Unsplash

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has named the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) as its official knowledge partner for the World Trade Organization's (WTO) 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13), which the country will host in Abu Dhabi in February 2024.

The cooperation agreement was signed on Monday between Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, and Badr Al-Olama, acting director-general of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), representing the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED).

The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, minister of state for foreign trade and MC13 chair, and Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, chairman of the ADDED.

"For almost three decades, the ECSSR's expertise and insights have been guiding the UAE's growth and socio-economic development, providing the research and analysis on local, regional, and global issues that have enabled our leadership to shape the direction of our nation," Dr. Al Zeyoudi said, as reported by WAM.

"At MC13, this same analytical power will serve to shine a spotlight on the most pressing challenges facing global trade and offer the data and perspectives on which we can develop lasting solutions," he added.

Al Zaabi said that the upcoming event will focus on shaping the trade future. Hence, it is "more appropriate" to have ECSSR as an official knowledge partner.

ECSSR uses research based on data to help policymakers on issues involving geopolitical developments, economic trends and social and environmental issues.

"ECSSR's expertise and stature as a leading research institution on a range of topics will pave the way to informed discussions, conversations, and strategies to address current challenges faced by global trade," Al Zaabi said.

According to the ADDED chairman, this partnership will enhance the UAE's position in the WTO, as it will bring meaningful reform and ensure "equal access to trade through a more inclusive trading system."

On behalf of ECSSR, director-general Sultan Mohammed Al Nuaimi said the research institute welcomes this critical partnership and is looking forward to leveraging its knowledge and research capabilities to make the upcoming event successful.

Key reforms in the global trading system, including expanding WTO membership and adopting digital trade frameworks, will be discussed at MC13, which will be attended by 164 countries.

The event will mark one of the most important conferences of WTO, as it will help the participants overcome a wide array of challenges, such as supply-chain disruption, inflation, protectionism and climate change.