Ministry of Finance Educates Youth on the Importance of Financial Data and its Uses

August 03, 2023

The Ministry of Finance participated in the Ministry of Culture and Youth’s Summer Camp 2023 through a dialogue session hosted by the Dubai Creative Hub at Emirates Towers.

Titled Youth Dialogues: The Importance and Uses of Financial Data, the session touched on the importance of the Ministry of Finance’s financial data and reports, and their utilization in research and studies carried out by students and youth. Moderated by Khawla Al Shenini, Head of the Financial and Accounting Capacity Building Department, the session included Sarah Mahdi Al Majedi, Head of Fiscal Policy Coordination Section, and Ahmed Ali Al Abdouli, Head of Government Finance Statistics.

His Excellency Saeed Rashid Al Yateem, Assistant Undersecretary for Resources and Budget at the Ministry of Finance, said: “We are pleased to participate in the Ministry of Culture and Youth’s events targeting youth, the pillars of the future. Our participation aimed at explaining financial concepts and information to the youth so that they can more accurately understand an integral part of the UAE’s financial system, which helps them further develop their knowledge of this priority sector. We thank the Ministry of Culture and Youth for inviting us to participate in the financial awareness and education process. We are also proud of the participating youth for enriching the session with their questions and interaction, which encourages us to boost efforts to cooperate with other government entities and complement each other in raising the youth’s awareness.”

The session began with an outline of the UAE’s local and federal financial organizations, and a brief on their respective mandates, with the federal government managing the country’s general affairs, such as legislative and executive matters, in coordination with local governments, as well as preparing the nation’s budget and periodic financial reports. The interactive dialogue with the attendees later discussed the Ministry of Finance’s vision, to be a global leader in the fiscal field and to contribute towards achieving the UAE’s vision, and its mission to efficiently and proactively manage and develop the federal government’s financial resources through active fiscal policies, excellent abilities, and local and international relations in order to achieve development, sustainability, and the integrity of the fiscal system in accordance with best practices. The discussion also included the Ministry’s strategic objectives centered on the financial planning of the federal government and the sustainability of public finances, boosting the efficiency and effectiveness of budget implementation, managing the financial position and cash flows of the federal government, serving the financial and economic interests of the UAE internationally, strengthening the UAE’s competitiveness in the financial and economic fields, ensuring quality, efficient and transparent administrative services, and establishing a culture of innovation in the work environment.

The speakers explained that Government Finance Statistics is a statistical system for preparing financial statistical tables and data related to the government’s financial operations, such as current and capital revenues and expenditures, which aim to identify the impact of the government’s financial policies on the economic cycle.

The speakers also explained to the youth that the goal of financial statistical reports is to serve the country’s internal and external goals and benchmark them against other countries. They also talked about the most important data produced by Government Finance Statistics, and their integral role in enabling decision makers and analysts to study developments in the overall government sector.

The session then moved onto outlining the importance of the Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG) as a detailed classification of functions, social and economic goals that the government sector seeks to achieve by measuring spending on the approved sectors, including general public services, housing and community facilities, defense, health, environment protection, public order and public safety affairs, economic affairs, social security, entertainment, culture and religion, and education.

The session discussed how to access open data from five sources – the Ministry’s website, the Ministry’s app, the National Summary Data Page (NSDP), the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre’s website, the International Monetary Fund’s website, and the International Monetary Fund’s Government Finance Statistics Yearbook (the country’s annual data). The speakers explained how this data is used in building economic and statistical models through national financial data, and the use of financial data in various studies and research (e.g. studying the impact of taxes on the economy), and in benchmarking against other countries, analyzing government spending on specific sectors such as health, education, and environmental protection, enhancing the UAE’s competitiveness and moving forward towards sustainable socio-economic development, and preparing studies and papers related to the country’s economic policies, such as the strategic Net Zero by 2050 initiative, fiscal discipline, and sustainability.

In conclusion, the speakers responded to questions and inquiries from the youth, and a dialogue followed on the concepts and other financial matters presented during the session.

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