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UAE eyes zero oil in GDP

October 22, 2020
oil and gas

The trade and investment strategy is centered on economic diversification.

The UAE is aiming to become the first country in the world to achieve zero contribution of oil in its GDP over the next 50 years, Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi said.

'The UAE's trade and investment strategy is centered on economic diversification and focuses on enhancing investment in industries such as communication, blockchain, artificial intelligence, robotics and genetics. We are also initiating measures to strengthen our position as a regional leader in supplying financial and logistical services and infrastructure for energy supply and other services,' Dr Al Zeyoudi said during his opening remarks on the second day of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM).

He said increased partnership and cooperation within the government and with the private sector will be key to achieve the objectives.

'For the UAE, foreign direct investment [FDI] has played a critical role in economic growth. In 2019, the UAE was the largest recipient of FDI in the region. Our policies and measures are in place, such as the FDI law enacted in 2018 to further open the UAE market to investors in certain sectors and assurance of our positive list that allows greater foreign investment across 122 activities,' he said, adding that the country was able to increase FDI value by 52 per cent last year.

The UAE also came 16th in 190 countries in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business 2020 ranking, thanks to digitalisation strategies and promising business regulatory environment provided by the UAE, he added.

The minister added that the UAE is continuing to refine and implement policies that will maximise competitiveness, increase collaboration and provide opportunities to facilitate trade and investment.

FDI recovery in 2022
The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted global markets, creating new challenges for trade and investment. According to the United Nations, global FDI flows are estimated to decrease up to 40 per cent this year, driven well below their value of $1.54 trillion in 2019.

'This will bring global FDI below $1 trillion for the first time since 2005. Global FDI flows are expected to drop even further in 2021. We do expect to start seeing markets recover only in 2022. The challenges ahead are enormous. The UAE sees tremendous opportunities for government and business leaders to work together for trade and investment to shape policies to create new partnership, leverage new technologies and build a future global economy that is more diverse, inclusive and sustainable,' he added.

Dubai in top 3 FDI cities
Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI, said Dubai's policies and initiatives have primed the city to attract investments into new and emerging sectors, among which one of the most important is the digital economy that includes secure communication networks, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, machine-to-machine communication and other technologies of Industry 4.0.

'This is the reason Dubai was among the top 10 cities globally in attracting FDI capital during the first half of 2020, and third in attracting greenfield FDI,' he said.

Gil Amelio, chairman of Safe Dynamics and former CEO of Apple Computer, said Dubai is known as a city of the future and an innovation hub in the Mena region and around the globe.

'Dubai and the UAE have implemented an innovative and forward-thinking approach. That's why we are also planning to launch other products that improve safety for both workers and the public in the UAE in the near future,' he added.



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