UAE growth expected to exceed 3% in 2019
FDI LAW, DIVERSIFICATION SET TO PUSH COUNTRY’S GDP HIGHER
The UAE’s economy minister expects the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 2.5-3 per cent in 2018 and by more than 3 per cent in 2019.
Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri was speaking to reporters in Abu Dubai on the sidelines of the UAE-Lebanon Investment Forum yesterday.
Earlier this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast GDP growth of 2.9 per cent this year and 3.7 per cent next year for the economy.
A senior official from the Ministry of Economy said introduction of the foreign direct investment (FDI) law, as well as diversification of the UAE economy, will be key factors that will push GDP higher next year.
“[The] FDI law will contribute to the GDP because earlier it was a challenge for investors to invest outside a free zone because of the restrictions,” Juma Mohammad Al Kait, assistant undersecretary for foreign trade affairs in the Ministry of Economy, said at the event.
The government issued the FDI law to boost the investment environment and attract foreign investment in line with national development policies earlier this year.
Al Kait also said incentives launched by local governments such as the reduction or abolition of fees will play a positive role in increasing the country’s economic growth.
Abu Dhabi last week introduced fee exemptions for all new economic licences issued in the emirate for two years. The Abu Dhabi Executive Council also approved another resolution exempting and reducing the fees of 98 basic services levied on the private sector by municipalities in Abu Dhabi.
UAE, Lebanon trade
The value of trade between the UAE and Lebanon is about $2 billion, Al Mansouri said yesterday.
“We also have close to $8 billion [worth of] UAE investments in Lebanon and about $1.5 to $2 billion Lebanese investments in the UAE. The Lebanese community has been working hard in the UAE and participating in the growth and diversity of the economy.”
He also said the discovery of gas in Lebanon will help the Lebanese government to put together a clear plan for the development of infrastructure, as well as tourism and other sectors.