Abu Dhabi’s economy could grow up to 8 per cent over the next two years bolstered by the crude oil sector, government spending, and foreign direct investments (FDIs), an official said.
“As Abu Dhabi continues to implement strategies and explore more promising opportunities, it’s anticipated that the emirate’s economy will grow by between six to eight per cent within the next two years. This progressive feat will be supported by the oil sector, government spending, and FDIs,” said Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, chairman, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, during the Abu Dhabi - the Future, an ongoing virtual event because of the viral outbreak.
He pointed out that the Ghadan 21 accelerator programme was launched in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. The initiative was a bid to offer an economic stimulus package.
The government initiated further steps to support the community and companies during the viral outbreak.
“Dh5 billion was allocated to subsidise water and electricity for residents, as well as commercial and industrial sectors. Another Dh3 billion was allocated for a credit guarantee programme to stimulate small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and Dh1 billion for financial markets,” Al Shorafa said.
5 central sectors for sustainable economy
Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, noted for the UAE’s transition to a more flexible and sustainable economy, there was a need to focus on five sectorial and enablers.
“Five main sectors, number one is SMEs from startup to scaleup, second is to look into trade with a new take on economic influence, third is attracting investments and reducing restrictions for market entry and increasing FDI, number four is becoming a brain hub with new immigration policies and five is opening new sectors. Key investment opportunities are being generated in vital sectors such as retail, e-commerce, agritech, healthcare, manufacturing, Fintech, logistics, ICT and education.”
Al Marri pointed out five major enablers: ease of doing business, enhancing government agility and response, promoting more coordination between federal and local authorities, strengthening public and private sector partnership, and lastly, new policies and investing in data.
“We are keen to raise the level of coordination with our partners and local government, and private sector, to develop several specific initiatives that would enhance government efforts in moving towards a sustainable economy in the next 50 years.”
Separately, this year in October, Abu Dhabi will be hosting the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) World Investment Forum, which will serve as a platform to explore strategies and solutions for global investment, a top official said.
James Zhan, Director, Investment and Enterprise Division, the UNCTAD, noted: “The UAE and Abu Dhabi have shown how to cope with the challenges arising from the pandemic and have a vision for longer term development.”
Zhan added the Forum coinciding with Expo 2020 Dubai will be “mutually beneficial” for everyone.
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