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UAE builds world class infrastructure: Kharbash

posted on 21/09/2003: 1354 views

The UAE hosting of the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund in Dubai from September 23-24 reflects the confidence of the international community in the progress of the country, according to a UAE minister. Speaking before a seminar on "Economic Policy, Investment Opportunities and Regulations in the UAE" Dr Mohammed Khalfan bin Kharbash, Minister of State for Finance and Industry, outlined how the UAE economy works, how the government works and how it does business, with the focus on financial and economic policy.

'It was not a coincidence that the UAE was chosen as a host location. We believe that it stands testimony to three key factors. First: our robust economic performance. Second: our long history of political security and stability. Third: our role as a moderate intermediary and a donor nation,' he said. 'The UAE has achieved average annual growth of 5.8 per cent over the past 10 years. We have also achieved non-oil GDP growth of 8 per cent over the same period. The UAE has excelled in the diversification process.

The contribution of the non-oil sector has risen from 34 per cent of GDP in 1993 to over two thirds today. Non -oil GDP is expected to continue to rise to $51.5 billion in 2003 and $55 billion in 2004. He added that : 'The key dynamic in this structural trend is fast growth in the manufacturing, financial and tourism sectors. Industrial developments throughout the UAE, including BOT agreements in large-scale power and water projects, actively involve the private sector.

In Abu Dhabi, for example, the whole electricity and water generation sector will be under private management by 2006. The IMF, he pointed out, had endorsed the UAE's diversification efforts. It has commended the country's ability to overcome what it calls the "curse of oil". We recognize that oil is still a very important component of our economic strength. But we are now much less vulnerable due to our diversified revenue stream.

The UAE, he added, had built a world-class infrastructure and sound-operating environment making the country a very attractive place to invest. He said mega projects such as the Dubai Internet City, Health Care City and others will continue to attract more foreign investment. 'Another important factor contributing to UAE growth is a fair operating environment that protects innovation. To this end, the UAE has adopted full Intellectual Property Rights legislation,' he added. He told the delegates that 'The UAE has witnessed a consistently stable political environment. The country is recognized for having one of the lowest crime rates in the world. This is quite remarkable when you consider the diversity of our society - the UAE is a meeting point for over 201 different nationalities. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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