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UAE is now one of world's fastest growing economies: Lubna

posted on 21/04/2007: 794 views

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Economy, has said that the UAE has turned from the pearl and fishing-based economy into the most vibrant regional economies and the world fastest growing economy.

'The UAE has been and still seeking to diversify its economic base away from oil until non-oil sector contribution to the GDP reached 62.5 per cent last year,' said Sheikha Lubna in an interview with the English language Chinese Channel 9 (CCTV 9) at the end of her visit to China.

She added that marked growth in non-oil exports stood as a concrete proof for the economic diversification as ratio of non-oil exports to total oil exports averaged 52.3 per cent in the past five years as compared to 29.5 per cent in 1980.

Citing IMF figures, Sheikh Lubna explained that the UAE had achieved high rates in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to sectors like oil and gas, water and power,ITC and health.

In 2005, she added, the UAE lured US$ 11 billion in foreign capital.

On how the UAE and China can utilise their natural resources to boost their economies, Sheikh Lubna said ' China is one of the UAE's major trade partners but we are in a need of a fresh approach to optimally tap the huge opportunities which have not been utilised yet.

She noted that China's fast growing economy, especially in banking and communications, has attracted the attention of global investors and here the UAE can play a vital role in turning Beijing's economic dreams into reality by expanding the the export markets for Chinese products using its strategic location, ultra-modern services infrastructure and other business strengths.

Turning to environment-economy balance, Sheikha Lubna credited the founding father the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan for striking a balance between protection of the environment and economic growth.

'Sheikh Zayed has bagged several international honours for his environmental initiatives. He didn't allow the oil industry to harm the ecological system in the country and the current leadership is confidently pursuing his policy by launching new environment-friendly initiatives,' she remarked.

Toward this end, she said that Abu Dhabi will launch a big solar power project as part of efforts for introducing renewable energy sources. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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