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Khalifa to maintain growth path

posted on 05/11/2004: 805 views

The unanimous election of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan will usher in a new era in the UAE, top officials from the government and private sector said yesterday.

They welcomed the new leadership and declared that the UAE would easily cope with the economic challenges ahead under Sheikh Khalifa, who is expected to play a key role in continuing to build a strong economy. They praised his credentials as a visionary leader.

"Sheikh Khalifa will continue to lead the country forward in its rapid march towards balanced economic development.”He will implement the plans and strategies laid out by his late father," they said.

Sheikh Khalifa, 56, has been at the forefront of Abu Dhabi's and the UAE's development policies and activities since he was 21, and has vast experience in federal affairs as well as wide exposure to regional and international affairs.

Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, executive chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corp, said the development and modernisation of the UAE will continue under the leadership of Sheikh Khalifa.

"Under his leadership, I am sure that the UAE will continue to grow and develop. With the quick and timely election of Sheikh Khalifa as the President of the UAE, the federation's leadership has demonstrated its willingness and determination to continue the development activities initiated by the late President Sheikh Zayed.

"During the last 33 years, we have achieved progress and prosperity to a great degree. The country has developed its human resources by investing in human capital and now all we need to do is continue the activities that will help us to grow. Under the new president, I am sure we will continue to grow," Bin Sulayem added.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani, assistant undersecretary for revenue and budget in the Ministry of Finance and Industry, said: "Sheikh Khalifa will follow the path that the late Sheikh Zayed took in creating a well-diversified economy that grew at a robust pace from year to year.

"The developments not only in the energy sector but across all other sectors will continue to race ahead in the future under Sheikh Khalifa, who has vast experience and knowledge."

"Sheikh Khalifa has been involved in several pioneering projects and we can be certain industrialisation, economic reforms and privatisation will gain greater attention," said Hussain Al Nowais, board member of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of Emirates Holdings.

Oil resources.

"Sheikh Khalifa has had a long service as President of the Supreme Petroleum Council and is instrumental in leading Abu Dhabi in the development of its rich oil and gas resources. We anticipate he will provide great leadership as in the past and we expect the oil and gas sector to grow," said Bud Fackrell, general manager of Adma-Opco, an Adnoc subsidiary.

Mohammad Al Qubaisi, chairman of Finance House, said the country is seeing a generational change but the new leadership will take forward the same vision of the past.

"Of course, the geo-political and geo-economic changes will dictate certain shifts in strategies, but the broad economic principles will not change.

"I expect economic growth to maintain its momentum," he said. Economies in the region are introducing liberal policies as a result of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

"The UAE is no exception and we feel Sheikh Khalifa is very progressive in his thinking and policies," said Mohammad Rashid Al Mohanadi, undersecretary in the Department of Civil Aviation, Abu Dhabi. "Surely, the oil revenues will be used wisely towards strengthening the infrastructure of the country and already we are seeing a vibrant construction sector," he said.

Mouyyad Hassan, chairman of the Iraqi Business Council, said: "With the sad death of the Sheikh Zayed, the election of Sheikh Khalifa as the new President of the UAE is reassuring and will help the country to move forward towards the same direction, envisioned by the late president" "We look forward to an even brighter future for the UAE under his leadership."

Indian born J.R. Gangaramani, managing director of Al Fara'a Construction in Al Ain, who has seen developments in the country for the last three decades said Sheikh Khalifa has been following in the footsteps of his late father from a young age and is consequently "well trained, very capable and has a clear vision. The economy and businesses are in for good times." (The Gulf News)


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