Abu Dhabi is planning to double the size of its industrial base as a percentage of its GDP as it seeks to diversify its economy away from oil, said the chairman of the Department of Economic Development on Sunday.
Ali Majed Al Mansoori said the Government will soon launch an initiative to boost industrial production in the emirate, where industry’s contribution as a percentage of GDP could rise to 10 per cent from 5 per cent in the long run.
The plan, details of which he did not divulge, will contain many opportunities for the private sector, which the Government also wants to help, he said.
“In the next six months we will launch a plan for industrialisation,” Mr Al Mansoori said on the sidelines of a business forum organised by the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce. “There will be many opportunities for strengthening the private sector and I am sure banks will be ready to finance.
“Encouraging the private sector is a priority and today marks the beginning of talks between the private sector and the Government and it will be followed later in the year by a workshop during which we will present projects.”
Abu Dhabi’s private sector accounts for 27 per cent of the economy, a figure the Government is hoping to boost to at least 40 per cent by 2030.
The push to diversify comes at a time when many Arabian Gulf countries are seeking to transform their economies to make them less dependent on oil.
Sultan Al Mansouri, the Minister of Economy, said last year that the country as a whole is aiming to nearly double manufacturing’s share of the economy from 11 per cent to 20 per cent by 2025.
The wider Arabian Gulf region could gain US$17.7 billion if its average diversification matches the OECD level, which is more than three-quarters of entire foreign direct investments in the GCC in 2013, according to the consultancy firm EY.
Oil, the UAE’s main export, accounts for 40 per cent of the country’s GDP, according to government statistics.
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