Private sector must rise to occasion and support Year of Giving

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan had announced in December 2016 that 2017 will be the Year of Giving.

The initiative would be three-pronged: Strengthening corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the private sector; promoting the spirit of volunteerism; and strengthening the ideal of serving the nation among the new generation, an editorial has said.

A retreat was held on Wednesday during which, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, expressed pride that members of the society had thrown full support behind this initiative.

"A national strategy was presented on the Year of Giving during the retreat. While volunteers and the young generation have a key role to play, a lot hinges on the private sector and CSR,' said English language local daily, Gulf News, in its editorial on Friday.

Senior officials at the retreat said initiatives, with clear key performance indicators, that aim to find integrated policies to encourage companies to take part in CSR were discussed.

There are also some challenges faced by the private sector and these were identified.

This was a crucial step to clear any obstacle that may come in the way of companies that are committed to their CSR objectives.

Some of the challenges include lack of a clear role for the private sector in the development of the state, as well as a lack of clear mechanisms that ensure effective contributions to development.

It added, 'This once again proves that the UAE leadership is committed to the cause of giving and will work with the private sector to ensure the success of the initiative."

The paper underscored that the UAE has created a very conducive atmosphere for corporate giants and businesses large and small to thrive and prosper.

The facilities are world class, workflows streamlined and paperwork has been reduced to a minimum so that projects are not delayed by red tape. Ideas from the private sector have been welcomed and initiatives have been implemented. UAE is unparalleled when it comes to being a hub for business.

The UAE continued to offer humanitarian and development aids in various regions around the world during 2015, with its assistance between 1971 and 2014 adding up to Dh173 billion that benefitted 178 countries, making it the top international donor of official development aid "The culture of giving is ingrained in every layer of society because of the UAE leadership’s vision and policies. It is our responsibility as citizens, residents and companies to rise to the occasion and ensure that the Year of Giving is a resounding success," the editorial concluded.

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