UAE set to diversify economy more: Shaikh Mohammed

UAE set to diversify economy more: Shaikh Mohammed

Shaikh Mohammed said that the UAE plans to make significant steps towards shifting to a knowledge economy, by tripling national spending on research and development and increasing the number of workers in that sector.



By Staff Report

Published: Sun 21 Jun 2015, 2:10 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:09 PM

Key points from the statement

1. 2014 strongest year for UAE economy, GDP grew by 4.6% reaching Dh1.47 trillion, non-oil sectors grew by 8.1%

2. 20 million tourists visited the seven emirates in 2014

3. The total manpower in the national labour market in 2014 reached 275,000 citizens; aiming to touch 460,000 citizens by 2021.

4. Total compensation paid to employees in 2014 stands at Dh410 billion, including Dh82 billion in government sector

5. Imports reached Dh700 billion, non-oil sectors contributed 68.6% of GDP, goal is 80% by 2021

6. Exports (inclusive of re-exports) reached Dh376 billion

7. National production reached Dh2.5 trillion in 2014, with Dh450 billion in manufacturing industries and Dh295 billion in construction sector

8. Financial sector saw double-digit growth in 2014 of some 15%, with contributions to gross domestic product reaching Dh122 billion.

The UAE will continue to diversify its economy through the development of new sectors such as the Islamic economy, according to a statement by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which was released on Saturday.

In his comments, Shaikh Mohammed outlined the current strong state of the UAE's economy and said the country is looking forward to the future.

'2014 was the strongest year economically for the UAE, and the country is set to continue to perform strongly in 2015,” he said. “Today we have a robust and diversified economic base, great confidence in the environment and the stability of our country, sureness and expertise to deal with a range of scenarios, and great optimism about the future and the projects we have launched.”

Shaikh Mohammed noted that new figures from the National Bureau of Statistics indicate that 2014 saw a real GDP growth of 4.6 per cent, while Nominal GDP reached Dh1.47 trillion.

Looking towards the future, Shaikh Mohammed said he expects a significant rise in the contributions of the non-oil sector to the national economy between now and 2021, which currently stands at 68.6 per cent of the country’s constant price GDP.

“We have put in place all the necessary plans to take that contribution to as high as 80% in 2021 through intensive investment in the industrial and tourism sectors, air and maritime transport, import and re-export, as well as supporting a range of projects and initiatives based on the knowledge economy,” he said.

“By developing new sectors, such as the Islamic Economy, and investing in innovation, content development and other such activities, our aim is to build towards economic diversity in 2021 in order to strengthen the economic and financial stability of the UAE and fortify ourselves against the inherent fluctuations and instabilities of world markets,” he added.

UAE set to diversify economy more: Shaikh Mohammed

Additionally, Shaikh Mohammed said that the UAE plans to make significant steps towards shifting to a knowledge economy, by tripling national spending on research and development and increasing the number of workers in that sector from 22 per cent to 40 per cent over the next six years, as well as bringing the UAE into the top ten countries globally on the Global Development Index.

Shaikh Mohammed also noted the resilience of the UAE’s economy in the face of falling oil prices.

“The decrease in the oil prices has had a positive impact on the growth of many economic sectors in the UAE in 2014, as current-price growth rates for the transport and storage sector amounted to 10%, up from 7.9 percent in the previous year; the wholesale and retail sector was at 8 percent, up from 6.8 percent in the previous year, and the construction sector 6.1 percent, a substantial rise from 3.4 per cent,” he said.

Looking back over the previous year, Shaikh Mohammed also noted 15 percent growth in the UAE’s financial sector, with contributions to gross domestic product reaching Dh122 billion.

reporters@khaleejtimes.com


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