Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, today, unveiled the ‘UAE Economic Report 2009’ which highlighted a growth in GDP of 1.3 per cent last year, with the non-oil sector contributing to 71.6 per cent of the GDP, underscoring the success of the nation’s economic diversification initiatives.
The economy is set to achieve a growth in GDP of 3.2 per cent in 2010 led by a focus on adopting industrial policies that will drive sustainable development across the UAE. The real GDP growth for year 2010 is projected at 2.5 per cent.
The GDP at current prices for 2009 is AED 914 billion and the GDP at constant prices was AED 514.5 billion. The rate of inflation was 1.56 per cent, compared to 12.3 per cent in 2007-08, and has declined by 0.01 per cent at the end of the first quarter of 2010, compared to the same period in 2009. The rate of inflation is projected to be managed at 1.1 per cent by end-2010 and at 2 to 2.5 per cent by end-2011 as global economic recovery gains momentum.
Mr Al Mansoori said the Economic Report is a key reference for decision makers in the UAE and the world. “The report provides a clear outlook and perspective of the UAE economy and how the nation has successfully addressed the challenges of the global financial crisis. Our emphasis on economic diversification and openness has contributed to an increase in the share of the non-oil sector to 71 per cent of the GDP compared to 66.5 per cent in 2008.”
He added: “The Report further highlights the contribution of the various non-oil sectors with manufacturing, construction, retail, real estate, financial services and tourism, among others, being significant contributors. The global economic recovery will further strengthen the performance of the non-oil sectors, and our expected growth rate will be higher than that of other high-income industrialised nations.”
Mr Al Mansoori said the UAE leadership is committed to strengthening the economic performance and enhance the integration of all key components in line with the UAE Vision 2021 – to make the UAE among the best countries in the world by 2021 - and its key components, namely, an ambitious and confident people who adhere to their heritage; a strong Union with common destiny; a competitive economy that is led by innovative and knowledgeable UAE nationals; and high quality life endowed with sustainable environment.
Total exports and re-exports for the year 2009 was valued at AED 769.2 billion (US$ 209.6 billion); and export and re-export of oil products accounting for AED 256.5 billion (US$ 69.9 billion). The total imports were valued at AED 710.1 billion (US$193.5 billion).
Non-oil exports were primarily to India, Switzerland, Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Oman, Pakistan, Nigeria, Kuwait, and Iraq, representing about 73.4% of the total. Re-exports were primarily to Iran, India, Iraq, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Switzerland, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Hong-Kong, and Oman, representing about 64.5% of the total.
The Central Bank continued to strengthen confidence in the domestic financial market. The Central Bank established an AED 70 billion ($19 billion) liquidity facility. Bank deposits reached AED 950 billion ($259 billion) at the end of Q1 2009 compared to AED 840 billion ($229 billion) at the end of June 2009.
The UAE will continue to pursue a free and open trade regime having signed Free Trade Agreements within the framework of agreements with the GCC countries. The country was ranked 14 out of 181 countries in the World Bank report on trade across borders. The UAE also ranked ahead in terms of technological readiness and innovation.
The report ranked the UAE 6th, 9th, 10th, 21st and 25th in terms of infrastructure, institutions, market efficiency, competence and innovation respectively. The Index of Economic Freedom ranks the UAE as the 46th most economically free country higher than countries like France, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and China.