Diversification 'main pillar of UAE economy'
Dubai, December 13, 2009
The UAE economy has proven its strength in dealing with the global financial crisis, due to the wise economic policies and the leadership’s emphasis on diversification, said its economy minister Sultan Al Mansouri.
Addressing a special gathering of European Union ambassadors to the UAE, Al Mansouri said the country's GDP grew 6.2 per cent in 2007 and 7.4 per cent in 2008 and the estimates growth of 1.3 per cent in 2009 and 3.2 per cent in 2010.
The minister pointed out that the strength of UAE's economy has been reiterated by President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on several occasions, the latest being his interview with the Kuwait News Agency.
He emphasised that growth rates of 2008 were not considered a basic platform for comparison due to the high inflation rates recorded asserting that the coming period will witness gradual growth, initially, picking up momentum with time.
“The UAE has already taken concerted efforts to meet the challenges arising from the financial crisis. Several practical steps were initiated include guaranteeing bank deposits for three years and injecting liquidity into the banking system whereby Dh120 billion ($32.6 billion) has been earmarked by the UAE Central Bank and the ministry of finance,” Al Mansouri said.
"We have the ability and determination to continue our work in this direction for the completion of the steps we have taken in this area to remove all obstacles that dampen the momentum of the development process," he stated.
Al Mansouri said that some media exaggerated the UAE’s economic situation adding that if there is any criticism towards the UAE then it should be objective and in the right place. “We accept any kind of criticism but that must be based on facts and reality and not illusions and speculation,” he said.
He also explained to the EU Ambassadors the development of the non-oil sectors and its contribution to the GDP where it reached 67 per cent in 2008, highlighting the diversification policies that reduced the dependency on the oil sectors.
He said the UAE government is giving special care for the development of the industrial sector as a major supporter for the economic development, which already contributes 14.9 per cent to the GDP. The number of industrial firms increased from 4219 in 2008 to 4644 in 2009 with investments of $22.1 billion.
“We are looking forward to enhance co-operation with European countries in the fields of industry especially the SMEs, chemical and manufacturing industries,” he added.
Al Mansouri said inflation rates in the UAE have risen from 2.2 per cent in 2002 to 12.3 per cent in 2008, falling to 2.5 per cent in the first eight months of 2009.-TradeArabia News Service