Sultan bin Saeed Al Monsouri at the opening day of the World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre in Sharjah on Sunday. — Photo by M. Sajjad/ Khaleej Times
Dubai — UAE remains a safe and stable country and haven for foreign investments as the country marches into 2015 with the sole aim of achieving four to 4.5 per cent economic growth, said Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri on Sunday.
“UAE economy is well on track and will continue to remain as much depends on oil prices, however contribution of non-oil sector is expected to play a major role in balancing out any growth decline,” Al Mansouri told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and Shaikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Shurooq, as well as top officials from local and international investment agencies and organisations attended the opening day of the three-day event, organised by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq).
“I am optimistic that oil prices — which are currently hovering at $55-$60 — are expected to move up and will fix the decline and help us achieve the target growth,” Mansouri told this scribe.
The minister further endorsed the fact that the UAE economy has rebounded and most of the sectors are performing well. He said the government and its guidance is very clear about continuous monitoring the trends and bring in immediate remedy, if needed.
“The current year is all set to see major growth trends from tourism and trade sectors. The tourism sector has been witnessing large number of tourists since beginning of the year. Airports and infrastructure and over all systems are equally supporting the growth trend. Also the UAE trade is expected to soar as the country remains a major hub for global imports and exports.”
Recently International Monetary Fund, or IMF, revised upward its growth projections for the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The IMF said that irrespective of oil price dip, the UAE’s economy is on track to grow a further 4.5 per cent in 2015, underpinned by its accelerated non-oil diversification, increased government spending and rising foreign direct investment flow.
Recently Al Mansouri was also quoted saying: “The non-oil sectors accounts for 69 per cent of the UAE’s GDP with oil accounting for the remaining third as the government continues its efforts to diversify away from oil and rely more on non-oil income.”
According to Institute of International Finance, or IIF, the UAE economy is poised to touch $435 billion in 2016, up from $419 billion in 2014 and $405 billion in 2015 under a predicted baseline oil price scenario of $78 and $85 per barrel, respectively, in 2015 and 2016. Tourist influx is set to grow over the coming five-10 years and international tourist arrivals may reach 39.9 million by 2024, which will generate a tourist spending of Dh105.4 billion.
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