Largely as a result of higher oil prices, the economy of the United Arab Emirates is expected to grow by 17 percent this year, said Mohammed Eid Al-Muraikhai, Chairman of the board of the UAE central bank, in an interview to the Emirates news agency, <1>WAM.
At the same time, Al-Muraikhai paid credit to his government’s efforts to diversify the national economy, which he said helped avert the adverse effects of the oil price crisis during 1997-98. And he called on the private sector to assume a larger role in the UAE’s economic development, by investing more in the industrial and other service sectors.
Al-Muraikhai said that fixed capital in the private sector increased by 9.8 percent per annum on average from 1988 through 1999. Al-Muraikhai pointed the country’s growing workforce —comprised of both locals and expatriates — as a positive indicator of the country's economy. It was the expansion of that which created so significant a demand for labor, he said.
During the interview, the central bank head spoke of the efforts being made to improve the operation of the country’s security exchanges. The UAE has five companies licensed to deal with finance and fund portfolio and eight firms that deal with finance and investment consulting, he said.
Following the opening of the exchanges in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the number of stock brokers licensed by the central bank has increased to 35, he noted, adding that seven brokers have been licensed to deal with local and foreign bonds and eight have been licensed to deal with commodities. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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