UAE showcases its investment potential and growth opportunities in HanoverApr 25, 2012 - 07:01 -
WAM Hanover, Germany April 25, 2012: Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade, inaugurated the UAE Investment Forum as part of the UAE's dedicated pavilion at Hannover Messe, the international industrial and technology fair regarded as one of the world's largest industrial and technology events, being held from April 23 to 27, 2012, in Hanover, Germany.
The UAE Investment Forum will serve as a window into the investment potential and growth opportunities offered by the country for foreign investors and businesses.
Opening the Forum Sheikha Lubna said: "One aspect that continues to draw us to Hannover Messe is its diversity. In a similar fashion, the UAE looks to diversity to fuel its growth. Our comprehensive economic diversification programme has enabled us to raise the contribution of our non-oil industries to over 70 per cent of our GDP.
"Last year, the UAE's industrial investments reached a record high of US$ 31 billion to surpass the 2010 figure by 12.8 per cent. Our goal is to make our non-oil industrial activities account for 25 per cent of our economic output by 2025," she added.
Sheikha Lubna said that innovation is important to the UAE's vision of developing a resilient industrial framework. "Our various global recognitions have affirmed UAE's strong commitment to innovation and technology-enabled development. We are also focused on renewable energy, as reflected in pioneering initiatives such as Masdar City, one of the world's foremost eco-cities taking shape in Abu Dhabi".
Sheikha Lubna added that the announcement in January of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to launch a long-term national initiative to build a �green' UAE economy underlines the country's vision for long-term sustainability.
To be undertaken under the slogan �A green economy for sustainable development,' the initiative will transform the UAE into a global leader and a hub for trade in green products and technologies. It also seeks to maintain a sustainable environment to drive long-term economic growth.
Sheikha Lubna invited German investors to evaluate the various business and investment incentives that the UAE offers to industrial firms. "The UAE offers several advantages including a safe work environment, the absence of corporate and personal taxes, 100 per cent repatriation of profits, business-friendly policies, and abundant sources of inexpensive energy. We also offer the facilities and services of our 32 state-of-the-art free and industrial zones which received thousands of corporate registrants last year despite the sustained global downturn," she said.
"Last year we recorded an estimated economic growth of around 3.3 per cent despite unprecedented regional and global challenges. This year we have set a federal budget of USD 11.4 billion to fund the expansion of our economic activities, generate more jobs, expand our trade and further develop our infrastructure to retain our competitive status as the second largest Arab economy".
The UAE is the second-most preferred Foreign Direct Investment or FDI destination in the Arab world. An UNCTAD report issued last year pegged the UAE's cumulative FDI inflow at USD 75.7 billion from 2000 to 2011, accounting for almost 17 per cent of the total Middle Eastern FDI for the period. The country's non-oil foreign trade rose 22 per cent to USD 250 billion, with exports surging an impressive 35 per cent, reaffirming the country's status as the region's commercial hub.
The Forum witnessed a key note address by H.E David McAllister, Prime Minister, State of Lower Saxony; followed by a panel discussion on "Investing in the UAE", showcasing the complementarity of each emirate and unique value-proposition of the UAE for Foreign Direct Investment in various technological sectors of excellence for German companies.
The Forum was closed by a discussion between Mohammed Omar Abdullah, Undersecretary of the Department of Economic Development of Abu Dhabi, and Brian Lott from the Mubadala Development Company about "Economic diversification, from planning to reality".
They highlighted the investment opportunities in Abu Dhabi and efforts to enhance diversification by focusing on strategic sectors and small and medium businesses.