UAE Minister of Economy and Board Chairman of Securities and Commodities Authority, Eng. Sultan Saeed Nasser Al Mansoori, inaugurated the 24th XBRL International Conference in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. Hosted by the Securities and Commodities Authority, the first ever XBRL conference in the region shed light on the benefits of electronic filing and highlighted the XBRL’s efforts to improve the overall business process of reporting financial results to shareholders and other stakeholders. Delivering the keynote address, the minister announced that the UAE economy had grown by about 3.3 per cent in 2011 and is expected to grow by about 4 per cent in 2012. “Having proven its ability to address crises and respond positively to international and regional variables the UAE listed companies have posted a successful financial year in 2011. To this end, the UAE economic sectors continued to achieve outstanding growth. Leading the growth efforts, the banking sector net income grew by an approximate 30 per cent in 2011 from 2010, also the Energy sector grew by approximately 7 per cent while the Service sector advanced approximately 3 per cent,” he said. He also pointed out that the UAE listed company disclosure has evolved substantially in the past few years where timely disclosures have reached and surpassed 98 per cent. He expressed hope that the XBRL system will help further enhance disclosure in the markets. He expressed confidence that these efforts will help boost local and international investor confidence in UAE financial markets, and will add value to the UAE economy which had been enjoying a steady recovery following the global financial crisis. XBRL Chairperson Arleen Thomas said that engagement at the ministerial level in countries like the UAE is critical to the success of XBRL mission. She said that the conference theme, “Transparency: Available, Reliable, Comparable and Re-usable Data” is a direct reflection of the experience the UAE has had in launching their pioneering project. “The UAE project, which is moving towards an official launch in October, is a roadmap for other countries in the Middle East and Asia,” she said. FGFS First Gulf Financial Services (FGFS), a subsidiary company of First Gulf Bank, was recognised as one of the first financial brokers in the UAE to implement the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) system within its operation during the 24th XBRL International Conference. The international XBRL module is used in developed markets by the participants, including listed companies and brokers, for developing regulatory reports.