The UAE’s non-oil gross domestic product is expected to grow by 3.6 per cent in 2021, state news agency Wam reported on Saturday citing central bank estimates, suggesting the economy will rebound from an expected contraction in 2020.

The Central Bank of the UAE, in its second-quarter report on the economy, had recently said the non-oil economy was projected to contract 4.5 per cent for 2020 as a whole due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Total packages worth Dh388 billion ($105.6 billion) have been announced to support the economy.

The report comes as the committee responsible for the coordination and follow up of the implementation of the UAE’s economic recovery plan held its second meeting on Saturday, in which it reviewed the progress in the 15 initiatives of the first phase, revealing that 46 per cent of implementations has been completed so far.

Major initiatives have been enacted to date, including amendments to the bankruptcy law, allocation of grants and incentives to tourism establishments, promotion of foreign direct investment through amendments to the commercial companies law, amendments to the commercial transactions law and the decriminalization of cheques without balance, reduction of fees and taxes on the tourism sector, enhancing the flexibility of labour market, the comprehensive targeted economic support plan directed by the central bank to enhance liquidity in the financial and banking sector in the country.

The committee, under the chairmanship of Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq Al Mari, was briefed on the efforts of the concerned authorities in coordinating and following up the implementation of the initiatives of this stage and enhancing their outputs. Therefore, they are keen to measure their impact in order to ensure the desired immediate support for various economic sectors and contribute to accelerating the pace of the national economy’s recovery.

The committee focused on the accomplishments under each of the six tracks of the initiatives package, which include empowerment of the new economy and development of priority sectors; opening of new markets locally and internationally; provision of financing support and facilitation of lending; tourism promotion; attraction and retention of talent; and stimulation of innovation.

Al Mari said: “Thanks to the unlimited support and visionary guidance of our wise leadership, the UAE has made new and important strides in supporting the national economy and accelerating the pace of recovery of various vital sectors from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Economic support packages and initiatives… have contributed to business continuity, increased momentum of commercial activities, and have strengthened their ability to grow and compete in various vital sectors.”

“The wise leadership has affirmed that protecting, supporting and further developing the economy according to a sustainable model is a priority within the strategy and plans of the UAE government. We are continuing our efforts to complete the implementation of initiatives of the recovery plan according to the approved schedule.

Other members of the committee are Nasser bin Thani Juma Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation; Dr Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs; Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology; Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications; Abdulla Mohammed Al Basti, Secretary-General of the Dubai Executive Council; Saif Hadef Al Shamsi, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE; and Dr Mohamed Rashed Al Hameli, Secretary-General of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, with the participation of Ahmed bin Lahej Al Falasi, Director-General of the Federal Customs Authority.


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