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Fifth Economic Outlook Forum Discusses FDI Contributions

Wednesday, January 10, 2018
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Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, the 5th UAE Economic Outlook Forum 2018 was launched today here to highlight the role of FDI and trade in encouraging innovation and productivity, and pushing growth and prosperity in the UAE forward.

The two-day forum seeks to provide an opportunity to address the economic prospects of the United Arab Emirates for the year 2018 in light of the latest updates and developments in the global economy and its future projections.

"Projects worth around AED30 billion will be completed over the coming two years and will reflect favourably on the tourism and business sectors in the emirate," Khalifa bin Salem Al Mansouri, Under-Secretary at the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, told the Emirates news Agency, (WAM) on the sidelines of the conference.

"The private sector's contribution to the Abu Dhabi GDP has increased and will continue to rise over the coming period thanks to the incentives provided by the government," he added.

He warned against VAT violations, affirming that fines ranging between AED40,000 and AED100,000 shall be imposed against violators and they might even include closure of the violator's establishment.

For his part, Saif Mohammed Al Hajeri, Chairman of the Department of Economic Development, delivered the event's inaugural speech and stressed that despite the current instability in the global economy, Abu Dhabi’s economy has proven its ability to absorb shocks and successfully deal with various challenges while its GDP has grown by around 4.2 percent at the constant price average during the period between 2012 and 2016, supported by a noticeable non-oil growth of around 5.7 percent during the same period.

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, delivered a speech during the Forum’s opening session, which was given on his behalf by Abdullah Al Saleh, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry. "The UAE economy is continuing its positive development, in light of the vision and directives of the wise leadership. It has maintained balanced growth averages and a strong and stable economic environment, despite the economic challenges of the last few years while strengthening its diversity and competitiveness as the second largest Arab economy, and one of the key regional and international destinations for trade, investments and business," Al Mansouri said.

He shed light on the key economic indicators that reflect the feasibility and efficiency of the country’s economic policies, citing the GDP growth in 2016 of 3 percent over 2015, and the growth of non-oil GDP during the same year of 2.7 percent. He added that specialist national and international reports predict a 3.4 percent growth in the national economy in 2018, as well as a 3.7 percent growth in the non-oil GDP during the same year, he added.

In his speech, Sami Al Qamzi, Director-General of the Department of Economic Development in Dubai, stated that latest studies by the Department of Economic Development in Dubai expect Dubai’s economy to grow by 3.5 percent in 2018 and 3.7 percent in 2019 in line with the Dubai Plan 2021.

The first day of the Forum also witnessed discussions about the UAE’s future economic prospects, as well as on the role of the new tax policy in achieving financial sustainability and promoting economic development projects.

The Forum’s second day tomorrow will focus on the current and future impact of FDI on the country, the planned policies to enhance the contribution of these investments to national development programmes, and the recently announced national strategic plans and initiatives. Partnership programmes between the public and private sectors and their role in strengthening national economic development projects will also be discussed.

The Forum’s launch was witnessed by H.H. Sheikh Dhiyab bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi; Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State; Jassim Mohammed Buatabh Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office; Riyad Abdul Rahman Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Finance Department; Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Health Department; Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Department of Education and Knowledge and Member of the Executive Council; Eng. Awaidha Murshed Ali Al Marar, Chairman of the Department of Energy; Saif Mohammed Al Hajeri, Chairman of the Department of Economic Development; Abdullah Musleh Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority; Abdullah Al Saleh, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry; Sami Al Qamzi, Director-General of the Department of Economic Development in Dubai; Khalifa bin Salem Al Mansouri, Under-Secretary at the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, and several senior officials.

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