A common computer network is currently under consideration by the UAE central bank, with the intention that it will assist commercial banks in the emirates in developing their ranges of e-commerce services.
According to Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, the UAE Central Bank governor, the central bank is specifically working with those commercial banks that are not able to set up their own network for technical and financial reasons and wish to provide e-banking services.
"Banks in the UAE have started providing their services via computer nets and the Internet and we expect this to become more dominant in the future. The central bank stands behind the banks in this endeavor," said Al Suwaidi, as quoted by Gulf News..
According to Al Suwaidi, the net profits of UAE banking system in 2000 is forecast to reach Dh4.5 billion. This would be up from Dh 3.5 billion in 1999, which was a sharp drop from the Dh4.3 billion reported in 1998.
Al Suwaidi said that the policy of the UAE government is to diversify the country’s economic base, in order to lessen its reliance on oil. Dependence on the oil sector declined during the 1990s from 46 percent in 1990 to 26 percent in 1999.
Nonetheless, while dependency on crude oil output is down, those industrial sectors that have shown the most impressive growth are not divorced from the UAE’s most dominant commodity. One industry that has shown the most impressive growth is that producing petro-chemical products. Al Suwaidi said the total investment in this sector stood at Dh21 billion by the end of 1999, with the number of industrial establishments involved standing at 1,859 in 1999, up 122 percent from 1990. – (Albawaba-MEBG).
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