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UAE to accelerate economic recovery, minister says

May 2, 2021
finance & economy

Abdulla Bin Touq says economy ministry is working with other government entities to double size of economy to Dh3tn by 2031

The UAE is planning to speed up its economic recovery by embracing technology linked to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, economy minister Abdulla Bin Touq said on Saturday.

The Ministry of Economy and other government entities are 'working according to an ambitious vision to double our national economy over the next 10 years, to reach Dh3 trillion by 2031', Mr Bin Touq said in a statement issued by the ministry.

Preliminary results from the UAE's Federal Statistics and Competitiveness Centre showed the UAE's economy shrank 6.1 per cent last year and non-oil gross domestic product contracted 6.2 per cent, which the ministry described as a 'comparatively low decline' given the slump in other major global economies last year.

The International Monetary Fund said in its World Economic Outlook last month that the Euro Area economy shrank 6.6 per cent last year, with France contracting 8.2 per cent and Italy 8.9 per cent. The United Kingdom's economy shrank 9.9 per cent, but advanced economies overall contracted 4.7 per cent and the US 3.5 per cent.

UAE GDP for last year stood at almost Dh1.42tn at constant prices, with non-oil GDP making up just over Dh1tn of this. The UAE was 'not immune' to the global economic shock experienced after Covid-19, given that the country's economy 'is linked through foreign trade, foreign investment, tourism and the logistical sector with the movement of trade and investment and global transportation', the minister said.

The UAE's economy is set to grow by 2.5 per cent this year, and its non-oil economy by 3.6 per cent, Mr Bin Touq said, citing estimates from the Central Bank of the UAE. Next year, growth is forecast to increase to 3.5 per cent and non-oil growth to 3.9 per cent.

He underlined the importance of initiatives and legislation changes made to preserve the country's position 'as an environment that attracts investments on an ongoing basis'.

A number of rule changes have been made over the past 12 months to facilitate foreign investment, including changes to the Commercial Companies Law removing the requirement for onshore companies to have a major UAE shareholder, as well as changes to the visa regime, offering long term visas for investors and entrepreneurs.

'The success and complementarity of these policies also support the requirements for rapid economic recovery in 2021, promote future growth and sustainable development, achieve economic prosperity and decent living for all citizens and residents of the country,' Mr Bin Touq said.

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