The contribution of the private sector to the Abu Dhabi economy is far less than expected, according to a top government official. Mohammad Omar Abdullah, Undersecretary of the Department of Economic Development, told the opening of a panel discussion at the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI) that private companies only contribute a quarter of the emirate’s GDP.
“The contribution of the private sector to Abu Dhabi’s GDP is no more than 25 percent which is less than expectations,” he said. He said Abu Dhabi planned to strengthen its partnership with the private sector by adopting proper action plans and economic strategy. He called for a stronger partnership between the public and private sectors to stimulate economic growth by making the most of opportunities and using available expertise. The panel discussion was aimed specifically at building on the partnership between the two sectors.
Fatima Al Jaber, ADCCI board member, said Abu Dhabi has a sustainable and diversified economy. “Abu Dhabi is deemed a sustainable, high value-added economy which boosts enterprises and partnerships leading to better opportunities for all sectors in Abu Dhabi in particular and in the UAE in general,” said Al Jaber. She added that the government of Abu Dhabi works hard to broaden the economic base and promote the role of the private sector as a provider of services for residents and visitors.
Ebrahim Al Abed, econ-omic expert at the Department of Economic Development, told Gulf News that Abu Dhabi’s strategy is based diversifying income sources by nurturing the non-oil sectors. The government is trying hard to amplify the public-private partnership and enhance foreign direct investments by entering into joint ventures which have comparative advantages consistent with the goals of Vision 2030,” said Al Abed. He said oil contributed 49.7 percent of Abu Dhabi’s GDP in 2010.
“Abu Dhabi’s GDP is Dh648 billion as of September,” Al Abed said. “The Abu Dhabi GDP at current prices underwent remarkable growth of 15.9 percent in 2010, rising from Dh535 billion in 2009 to Dh620 billion in 2010, which confirms that the local economy has surpassed the repercussions of the crisis which hit the global economy since 2008.”
He confirmed that all non-oil economic activities achieved positive growth rates of varying degrees during 2010 and are estimated to do so in 2011, especially manufacturing, which grew by 10.8 percent following a decline of 22 percent in 2009. This reflects the government’s efforts to promote the sector as one of the pillars of sustainable development.