Capital to invest $100 billion in infrastructure

ABU DHABI — Abu Dhabi is investing $100 billion to upgrade its economic infrastructure by expanding oil & gas sectors, ports, airports and real estate besides tapping tourism potential during the next 4-5 years, said Shaikh Hamad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Economic and Planning Department.

By Haseeb Haider

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Published: Tue 9 May 2006, 10:52 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 3:43 PM

He was inaugurating a two-day 'Abu Dhabi-Italy: Investment and Business Forum', which is being attended by a 100-member delegation comprising top business executives. The Italian delegation was representing cross-section of industries including energy, engineering, pharmaceutical, building materials, infrastructure, logistics, iron and steel, automotive, heavy engineering and aerospace and furniture. Top officials of 10 Italian banks and trade bodies were also part of the visiting Italian business team.

Shaikh Hamad said that trade between the two countries has surpassed 2.5 billion euros in 2004, growing at six per cent per annum.

"We have recently concluded an agreement to avoid double taxation as well as pacts for the protection of investment and air transportation, which has laid down the foundation for the growth in trade and investment," he told the Italian businessmen.

About Abu Dhabi's emerging development scene, he said among major projects included a new airport terminal to handle up to 20 million passengers a year, a new port to handle 33 million metric tonnes of cargoes, besides real estate development at three islands — Reem, Lulu, and Sadiyat alongwith the Raha Beach. The island developments would have commercial and recreational facilities, hotels and tourist attraction, apartment and office building, in addition to civil infrastructure, he added.

Apart from this, he continued that Abu Dhabi is planning to make major investment in its energy and industrial sector during next five years to increase its crude oil production up to 3.5 million barrel per day from present level of 2.6 million barrel per day. In this regard, refineries, gas processing plants, petrochemical complexes and heavy industries are being expanded or new facilities being developed.

"Italian businessmen can avail from these marvellous opportunities by way of joint ventures, as Abu Dhabi provides easy access to the markets of Middle East, Gulf and Subcontinent," he maintained. "Abu Dhabi can be an important manufacturing base for Italian businesses," he observed.

"Free trade agreements with US, Australia and China will further open avenues for business growth," he asserted.

Shaikh Hamad said the UAE and its private sector were already playing their role in this connection, as Mubadala last year purchased five equity stake in Ferrari and a 35 per cent in Piaggio Aero.

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