Published On: Sun, Oct 12th, 2014

First UAE Economic Planning Forum to be Held in Fujairah

 Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development

Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development

The Ministry of Economy has announced the first edition of the UAE Economic Planning Forum organized by the Fujairah Department of Industry and Economy at the initiative of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.

Hosted with the support of the Ministry of economy, the inaugural forum will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah on October 28, 2014 at the Novotel Fujairah Hotel.

The Forum will see the participation of local economic departments of all the emirates, in addition to the UAE’s public and private sector companies.

Sultan Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said: “Being the federal national authority mandated with economic development of the UAE, the Ministry of Economy welcomes this initiative that will cascade a holistic and positive impact on our national economy. This event provides a shared platform for all those engaged in the development of the UAE economy across diverse sectors and verticals on the local and federal level.” “The forum is in line with the ministry’s strategy of strengthening cooperation among stakeholders across the seven emirates. It is our continuous endeavor to increase coordination and cohesiveness in the UAE, under the wise leadership of the President His Highness Shiekh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in line with the National Agenda announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Our view of the development of the UAE is comprehensive and founded on achieving a strong knowledge-based national economy by 2021,” the Minister added.

Al Mansouri stressed that the success of any emirate is the success of the country at large. He applauded Fujairah’s efforts to host the first edition of the forum and thanked His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah for his patronage and support to the event.

Ali Majid Al Mansouri, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development said that the Abu Dhabi government is keen to enhance integration among the seven emirates towards increasing the competitiveness of the country and achieving its strategic goals in sustainable economic development. He commended the emirate of Fujairah’s efforts in hosting the first edition of the UAE Economic Planning Forum and said it reflected Fujairah’s commitment to unify efforts towards the UAE’s economic development.

Majid Al Mansouri said: “The inaugural edition of the forum focuses on three strategic sectors – industrial sector, SMEs and planning for development. The forum’s main goals are enhancing communication among the departments of economic development in the UAE, sharing knowledge, ideas and strategies related to economic planning, as well as focusing on challenges related to economic development and ways to overcome them.” Mohammed Obaid bin Majid Al Aleeli, Director General, Fujairah Department of Industry & Economy, said: “Fujairah is proud to host the first edition of the UAE Economic Planning Forum and we are glad to welcome the Minister of Economy along with the heads of departments of economic development. We hope the event will serve as a platform for experts to discuss issues relevant to the national economic development.” “The topics of discussion were carefully selected to include the vital economic sectors of the UAE. The forum comprises four sessions, three related to strategic sectors and one focused on the economic development of the emirate of Fujairah.

The UAE national economy made huge strides in the last few years due to the successful economic policies implemented by the federal government. The government follows an approach based on diversifying the economy to reduce dependence on oil and gas. Non-oil sectors contribution to the GDP reached 61% and is expected to increase considerably in the near future. According to latest IMF data, the UAE GDP grew at a rate of 4.8% to reach AED1.54 trillion (US$ 422 billion) compared to AED1.47 trillion (US$402 billion) in 2013. It is expected to reach AED2 trillion in 2019, an increase of approximately AED500 billion in five years. Foreign currency reserves in the UAE are estimated at AED293 billion (US$187.7 billion) and are expected to reach AED690 billion by end-2019.

The UAE boasts a business-friendly environment with modern legislations and infrastructure. The enabling business environment helped turn the UAE into an attractive destination for investments. The UAE today features some of the best airports and seaports globally, robust logistical capabilities and more than 30 free zones. These factors holistically helped the country rank first among Arab countries in attracting foreign investments, capturing 21% of the total incoming direct investments into the Arab world in 2013, valued at US$10.5 billion according to the annual report issued by the Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation.

The UAE government encourages innovation, research and development, seeking to increase the contribution of the knowledge economy to the GDP by 5% by 2021.

In 2012, Abu Dhabi was the largest contributor to the UAE’s GDP with a share of 65%. It accounts for 42% of the country’s workforce. The GDP of Abu Dhabi stood at US$707.5 billion in 2013 with a growth rate of 5.2%. The contribution of non-oil sectors was 49% of the total GDP.

The emirate of Abu Dhabi laid out the Public Policy Agenda, which formed the basis of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. The vision is a long-term roadmap for economic and social development with the aim of achieving sustainable economic development within a diversified knowledge-based economy. To articulate these goals the emirate works on five-year plans that translate the ambitious vision into strategies and policies at the sectoral level with clear mechanisms to achieve the set goals.

Dubai’s progress since the beginning of the last decade has been phenomenal. During the period from 2000 to 2013, the average growth rate in Dubai was 9%, one of the highest growth rates internationally for the same period. As a result, Dubai’s GDP tripled from AED110 billion in 2000 to reach AED325 billion in 2013. Dubai’s performance has been mainly attributed to the strategic vision and ambitions goals of its leadership that has seen the emirate take giant strides in a relatively short period.

Dubai’s policy of diversifying economic activities, especially in high value-added sectors, has resulted in its prosperity. The government and semi-government sectors played a critical role in establishing a distinct investment environment that encouraged entrepreneurs and businesses. The economy of Dubai is recognized internationally as an open and attractive one that follows best international standards and practices.

The emirate of Sharjah has witnessed rapid growth in the last decade with an average growth rate of 11%. The emirate’s economy though marginally affected by the global financial crisis, registered one of the highest recovery rates (-5% in 2009 to 4% in 2010). The emirate’s economic reliance on oil is minimal and the contribution of commodities exports is increasing.

The GDP of Sharjah surpassed AED70 billion in 2012 and is expected to exceed AED80 billion in 2014. Sharjah’s GDP grew by 7% in 2011, 5% in 2012 and 8% in 2013.

Ras Al Khaima enjoys a stable and diverse economy in which oil contributes only 4.6% to the GDP. The geographical location of the emirate made it an important hub for commerce and trading services. The emirate has witnessed economic growth in manufacturing and extractive industries, construction, financial services, wholesale and retail services and tourism in recent years. Manufacturing offers the largest contribution to the emirate’s GDP at 25% followed by wholesale and retail at 12%, construction at 8.6%, and financial services at 7.5%.

Fujairah plays an important role in the economic development of the UAE due to its location on the east coast. The geographical location of the emirate offers significant growth opportunities in tourism and mineral wealth.

Fujairah’s economy is dependent on the integration of its port, airport and industrial area, which serve as pillars for several of the emirate’s key projects. Fujairah’s prime waterfront location in proximity to the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, the presence of the Fujairah Zone for Petroleum Industry (FOZ) as well as other specialized industrial zones have led to the emergence of a number of tourism and property development projects.

Ajman has witnessed an economic boom across a number of sectors – the emirate’s GDP in 2013 grew by 4.7% over 2012. The economy of Ajman depends on a number of sectors, with manufacturing contributing nearly 35% to its GDP in 2013, followed by construction that accounted for 15% of the GDP, wholesale and retail that contributed 13%, properties and business services that added 11% and transport and storage that contributed 6%.

Ajman enjoys a developed infrastructure, an active free zone, an enabling economic environment and investment-friendly policies. Investments in Ajman grew in 2013 by 5% compared to 2012. Exports (including re-export) grew in the second quarter of 2014 by 53%. A number of ambitious projects are currently underway in Ajman like the airport project, Manama development project, marina project, and Emirates City. These projects are part of the Ajman Vision 2021 that is aligned to the UAE Vision 2021. Ajman’s vision aims to achieve sustainable development that factors in economic, social, and environmental dimensions. Ajman currently focuses on the development of five strategic sectors – industry, tourism, logistics, outsourcing and media.

The economy of Umm Al-Quwain has developed rapidly in recent years. This was assisted by the location of the emirate and infrastructure development projects like Ahmed Bin Rashid Port & Free Zone. The local legislations in the emirate also encourage investment and businesses.

The emirate is today focused on developing the industrial sector. This is evident in the creation of industrial zones with the purpose of attracting factories and manufacturers. Key industries in Umm Al Quwain include light industries, cement and building materials, rubber, aluminum and readymade clothing.

Source : WAM News Agency for United Arab Emirates

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