The UAE intends to boost investments in the pharmaceutical industry by 20 percent and widen its export reach in the region, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has confirmed. 

The move was approved by the UAE cabinet meeting at Expo 2020 Dubai on Monday, during which government officials also agreed to adopt a national policy that will promote and protect the public’s health, as well as to clear the housing loans of low-income Emiratis. 

“Today, I chaired a cabinet meeting at Expo Dubai, during which we adopted a national policy for medicine with the aim of ensuring its availability at all times to all those in need,” the Dubai ruler said on Twitter. 

“We also approved today … financial exemptions from housing loans for those who are unable to [make payments]… We also approved the disbursement of government housing to low-income families,” Sheikh Mohammed said. 

The Cabinet meeting was also attended by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. 

The national policy for medicine provides a framework within which the activities in the pharmaceutical sector can be coordinated and encourages research and development, including operational research, drug development and clinical research, according to state news agency WAM. 

Part of the plan is to produce more good quality medicines locally and draw more investments into the sector. 

The government meeting also adopted a strategy that aims to make the country’s cultural and creative industries among the top ten performing sectors in the national economy and account for 5 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). 

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria) 

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