Construction workers included? UAE aiming to become world's top 10 in GDP per capita
The UAE has set its sights on increasing its gross national income per capita by 65 per cent by 2021, placing the country among the world’s top ten economies per capita income, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, told the Federal National Council on Tuesday.
Al Tayer was responding to a question tabled by Ali Eisa Al Nuaimi, a member from Ajman, on the government’s steps to achieve that target.
The minister said the UAE, which aims to become the economic, tourist and trade gateway for more than two billion people, targets the attainment of one of the world’s highest per capita income.
“The 10th place required an increase of 49 per cent on the UAE’s per capita income, which does not live up to our ambitions. The fifth ranking was very difficult because it requires 97 per cent hike, but the 8th place was our choice as it requires 65 per cent increase on the country’s income per capita,” Al Tayer said.
Dr Amani Al Anshasi, assistant professor of economics at UAE University, told Gulf News that a 65 per cent GDP growth over the next seven years may seem ambitious but the UAE can achieve it, considering the experiences of other countries such as China, India and Singapore.
“China, for instance, has doubled its GDP in 10 years and the UAE can achieve the same goal, providing that it further diversifies its economy,” Dr Al Anshasi said.
Dr Al Anshasi added while oil has fuelled much of the UAE’s social and economic development in the last half-century, it is important to ensure that other areas of economic activity are also given every chance to succeed.
The minister said the UAE Government has set out a strategy to expand the contribution of the non-oil sector to the GDP and boost the creation of high-quality jobs in export-oriented, knowledge-based sectors.
“The UAE’s GDP is expected to grow to nearly Dh1.5 trillion dirhams year from just Dh180 billion in 1997. The country’s GDP is estimated to grow to more than Dh1.7 trillion in 2018,” Al Tayer said.
Launching the UAE National Agenda for the next seven years, viewed as an extension of the UAE Vision 2021, earlier this year, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said over the next seven years, the country is set to not only increase the gross national income per capita by 65 per cent, but also to make the UAE the safest place in the world, in addition to achieving a four-minute response time for all emergency calls.
Another objective is to make the UAE the top country in smartphone governmental services.
As the UAE proceeds with its diversification strategy, Sultan Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, recently said he expected that the knowledge economy will contribute 5 per cent of the GDP by 2021.
Al Nuaimi said the UAE — one of the happiest places, having topped the Arab world rankings and coming in at 14th place globally in the World Happiness Report 2013 — is right on target for the 2021 Vision and the next seven years are a golden chance for the country to diversify its economy and increase its GDP very rapidly.
Al Nuaimi stressed he was very optimistic about achieving the national agenda, as every citizen will work together as one team to ensure that the agenda is achieved.
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