UAE to enter 25 new markets for foreign trade in bid to boost exports by 50 per cent

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid sets out the next steps to diversify the non-oil economy

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid leads the Cabinet meeting at Al Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi. 
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The UAE will enter 25 new international markets for foreign trade under plans set out by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

The goal is to boost exports by 50 per cent in the next few years.

Sheikh Mohammed spoke after a meeting of the Cabinet on Sunday.

"Today, I chaired a Cabinet meeting at Al Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi," Sheikh Mohammed said.

"We adopted the state's agenda to enter 25 new international markets in our foreign trade.

"Our non-oil trade annually exceeds Dh1.5 trillion and our logistics network is in 400 international cities.

"Our country ranks among the top 20 in foreign trade competitiveness indicators.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid leads a Cabinet meeting at Al Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi.

"Our non-oil economy represents more than 70 per cent of our GDP. Our goal is to increase our national exports by 50 per cent in the coming years.

"We work as one team, federally and locally, to bring our national economy to new heights [levels]. God willing, the UAE will remain an international hub for the economy in the coming decades."

He said new measures were adopted to fund the growing research and development sector.

"We also adopted in the Cabinet a national scale for research and development funds," he said.

"The UAE spends 1.3 per cent of its GDP on research and development. It is the first Arab country in this field.

"Our goal is to compete globally in the future. It is the research and development which lead the economy of the knowledge we seek to consolidate."

The Cabinet also approved a decision regarding nurseries and creches in government buildings. This is to ensure that on-site nurseries support women in the workplace.

The Ministry of Education and local educational authorities will license and monitor these nurseries.

Further decisions related to "legislative amendments in the field of emergency and disaster response, and in the health, educational and economic sectors".

Sheikh Mohammed said: "The goal is a quality of life that is the best in the world based on an economy that is the most diversified and established."

On Saturday, he approved the restructuring of Dubai's chamber of commerce into three separate entities and approved the board of directors of the overarching Dubai Chambers, which will oversee and co-ordinate the work of the chambers.