UAE economy strong enough to face global financial crisis

Following the decisions taken by the government in response to the international financial crisis, liquidity is available in the UAE, says Economy Minister Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri. And the economy is strong enough to deal with the repercussions of the global meltdown. “The UAE economy will enjoy a good growth rate but 2009 will be a real test for the global and UAE economies,” Al Mansouri told Emirates Business at the International Talent Conference organised by etisalat. “There is full co-ordination between the government, financial institutions and the private sector to alleviate the consequences of the crisis.” Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al Shehi, Under-Secretary at the Ministry, said the UAE was the country least affected by the financial crisis. The decisions taken by the government during the crisis in relation to the guarantee of deposits and the provision of Dh120 billion for the banking sector confirmed the strength of the UAE economy. “There is no a liquidity problem and projects are being executed without delay according to schedules that were set previously,” he said. “The evidence of that is the banks’ withdrawal of 15 per cent of the liquidity provided by the Central Bank. “The UAE economy is projected to achieve a growth rate of six per cent in 2008 compared with 5.8 per cent in 2007. Inflation is set to halve due to the drop in the price of oil and the increase in the value of the dollar by 20 per cent to 25 per cent against other currencies.” Al Shehi said the prices of some commodities, particularly food stuff, has started to come down in local markets. “A memorandum of understanding has been signed by the ministry and economic departments in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to intensify control of markets and curb manipulators,” he added. Etisalat Chief Operating Officer Ahmed Abdulkarim Julfar said the international crisis would affect all countries and institutions without exception. But despite the crisis etisalat remains determined to become one of the world’s top 10 firms. “Etisalat is in a good financial situation,” he added. “It will be slightly affected by the downturn. But the crisis will be an opportunity for etisalat to make acquisitions and enter new markets.” Abdel Hai Mohamad business24-7