UAE on track to speed up the economic recovery in 2021; Minister

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The UAE is planning to accelerate its economic recovery by embracing technology linked to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, said Abdulla bin Touq Al Mari, Minister of Economy, following the issuance of the preliminary results of the country’s economic performance by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre.

According to the result, the UAE economy performed better than expected last year despite the global challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and it highlights the effectiveness of the proactive economic measures and incentive packages rolled out by the government.

In the statement issued, Mr. Bin Touq stated that the Ministry of Economy and other government entities are working towards the ambitious vision to double the national economy over the next 10 years.

The preliminary results from the UAE’s Federal Statistics and Competitiveness Centre show that the economy of the emirate declined 6.1 percent last year and non-oil gross domestic product contracted 6.2 percent, which the ministry described as comparatively low, given the fall in other major global economies in 2020.

Last month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its World Economic Outlook stated that the Euro Area economy shrank 6.6 percent in 2020, with France contracting 8.2 percent and Italy 8.9 percent. The UK’s economy shrank 9.9 percent, but advanced economies overall contracted 4.7 percent and the US 3.5 percent.

In 2020, UAE was not immune to the global economic shock experienced after COVID-19, as the country’s economy is linked through foreign trade, foreign investment, tourism and the logistical sector with the movement of trade and investment and global transportation, the minister stated.

Citing the estimates from the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), Mr. Bin Touq stated that the UAE’s economy is set to grow by 2.5 percent this year, and its non-oil economy by 3.6 percent. Next year, growth is projected to increase to 3.5 percent and non-oil growth to 3.9 percent.

Mr. Bin Touq stressed the importance of initiatives and legislative changes made by the country. Several rule changes have been made over the past 12 months to facilitate foreign investment, including changes to the Commercial Companies Law removing the requirement for onshore companies to have a major UAE shareholder, as well as changes to the visa regime, offering long-term visas for investors and entrepreneurs.

“The success and complementarity of these policies also support the requirements for rapid economic recovery in 2021, promote future growth and sustainable development, achieve economic prosperity and decent living for all citizens and residents of the country,” Mr. Bin Touq said.

Related: UAE to add 10 new industrial sectors into its Commercial Companies Law