The UAE economy is projected to grow over 6.5 per cent this year and the next, driven by the new economy sectors as well as new socio-economic initiatives taken by the government, said a senior official on Tuesday.
Abdullah bin Touq, Minister of Economy, said 2022 has been a great year for the UAE economy with trade crossing Dh1 trillion and re-exports crossing Dh300 billion for the first time ever.
“We expect GDP growth of 6.5 per cent this year. I hope it’ll be more this and the next. To double the economy to Dh3 trillion by 2031, we need to grow seven per cent every year,” he said.
The International Monetary Fund also hiked the UAE’s economic growth forecast to over six per cent for 2022 last month, a remarkable increase from 3.8 per cent last year. This is driven by the foreign investment inflow into the country’s different sectors in 2022 after the government successfully and effectively handled the pandemic which further boosted the trust of foreign investors in the country.
The minister of the economy was speaking at the launch of the "Future 100" initiative to support 100 startups in new sectors that will shape the future economy of the UAE. Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, minister of state for government development and the future; and CEOs representing local and international companies, startups, as well as entrepreneurs in the UAE, also attended the launch event on Tuesday.
“UAE GDP grew 3.8 per cent in 2021 and 8.5 per cent in the first half of 2022,” the minister of economy said, adding that the country achieved Dh1 trillion trade and Dh300 billion re-exports for the first time in the country’s history ever.
26 Cepa deals
He further pointed out that the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (Cepa) will play a key role in the growth of the new economy sectors in the years to come.
The UAE has signed Cepa with India, Indonesia and Israel while negotiations are underway or in the planning phase with Pakistan, Turkiye, Georgia and Cambodia as part of the UAE strategy to double the size of its economy from Dh1.4 trillion to Dh3 trillion by 2030.
“We plan to sign 26 Cepa in the next 7-8 years,” bin Touq said on Tuesday.
On Monday, the UAE and Ukraine signed a deal to start negotiations for the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement to boost bilateral trade in key strategic sectors.
Highlighting the transition of the UAE economy, he said the UAE was known for its seaport in the 1950s, the airport in the 1980s and now for brainport.