Dubai: Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said concerted efforts to diversify the economy and a policy of openness adopted by the UAE's leadership have been the prime drivers in establishing the UAE as the second largest Arab economy.
In an interview with Sama Dubai marking UAE National Day, Al Mansouri said that the country's GDP rose from Dh6.5 billion in 1971 to Dh730 billion in 2007, as the result of wise economic policies adopted by the UAE leadership.
He said the UAE's leadership is committed to strengthening its human resources to develop a strong nation, and has taken effective steps to empower UAE nationals by providing necessary support.
Today the UAE's national income is among the highest in the world.
Al Mansouri explained that the UAE economy has risen to a global level led by its diversification into tourism, trade and services, which in turn has established a platform for inward international investments.
Tourism has played a crucial role in the economic growth of the UAE with the number of tourists exceeding seven million supported by the country's developed infrastructure and economic openness.
He added: "Currently, the industrial sector contrib-utes more than 27 per cent to GDP and we have clear directives to empower this sector to enable it to be a main contributor to the local economy."
Al Mansouri said that the UAE's growth story has received global acclaim, and that the country has proven its strength in meeting emerging challenges, especially the fall-out of the global financial crisis.
He said: "The UAE has already taken concerted efforts to meet the challenges arising from the fin-ancial crisis. Several practical steps that have been initiated include guaranteeing bank deposits for three years and injecting liquidity into the banking system whereby Dh120 billion has been earmarked by the UAE Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance."
He said that the Ministry of Economy has formed a committee of heads of local economic departments to draw up solutions and create plans to overcome the challenges posed by the global financial meltdown.
The minister said that the MoE will continue to adopt ambitious initiatives aimed at empowering the local economy, sustaining growth rates and protecting the investment environment.