Eng. Sultan Al Mansouri: The contribution of the private sector in the non-oil GDP is between 85% and 90%
1-Your Excellency, what are the main factors contributing to attract investors to the UAE?
The UAE offers an attractive investment environment with several advantages, primarily in terms of security, political stability and modern infrastructure. Its strategic location as a global trade hub provides investors access to the regional and international markets. Besides flexible legislation, we have laws and regulations that protect capital and facilitate its free movement. Investors also enjoy low customs (0-5%) and tax-free income.
2-What is the UAE global ranking in terms of economy? Does it compete with other countries from around the world?
Our national economy proved to be the 2nd largest Arab economy, achieving 4.1% growth in 2011 despite the prevailing volatile regional and international situation.
The UAE is also ranked 27th globally in the Global Competitiveness Report 2011/2012, and figures among the top 30 countries in attracting foreign direct investment, according to UNCTAD 2099-2011, achieving the highest FDI growth rate among Arab countries during the last 7 years.
3-What are the changes witnessed by UAE as a result of the strategy followed by you, and what are the main pillars and criteria used by the ministry to ensure growth for UAE economy?
The ministry has fostered an ambitious strategy for 2011-2013 in line with UAE Vision 2021 to achieve sustainable and balanced development.
Recognising the important role of IT in improving the ministry’s business, we have adopted several initiatives that make use of modern technology in improving administration work. As part of these efforts, a number of operations and services are being automated. In fact, as of now, the ministry has successfully automated 90% of its services.
The ministry aims to enhance corporate competitiveness in the context of its commitment to development and achieving overall development in line with government policies and UAE Vision 2021. In this regard, the ministry has adopted several pillars within its 2011-2013 strategy focused on encouraging innovation, corporate development, and enhancing partnerships with various sectors in order to boost economy diversification. They are aimed at developing national economy, strengthening the competitiveness of the economic sector and establishing a unique environment for foreign investment.
The ministry also completed a number of strategic projects that contributed to the country’s improved economic performance. These include Uniform Commercial Register, Electronic System for Goods Monitoring, launching of new electronic services certificates of origin, commercial agencies, foreign companies, the launch of the new website, the high proportion of e-transformation of 65% to 90%, high customer satisfaction rate of 75% to 93%, modernization of the infrastructure and connecting offices with the main building of the Ministry.
The Ministry of Economy is currently working on linking electronic systems of economic departments, chambers of commerce, and local municipalities in each emirate with a centralized system under the Ministry of Economy to regulate the issuance of trade names in all the emirates. This will ensure the names do not recur within the UAE, and help provide uniform commercial register to investors across the country, including licensing in commercial, industrial, agricultural, handicraft, professional and service sectors.
The United Arab Emirates has endorsed a strategy that is based on supporting the industrial sector as well as directing huge investments in the sector to enhance its contribution to the GDP, thereby reducing the dependence on oil as a main source of income. The growth witnessed by the industrial sector during the past five years indicates the attractiveness of the national economy as well as its strength and diversification. It also highlights the integrity of the legislative environment in helping increase industrial sector participation in the GDP.
The industrial sector contributes to generating 15% of the UAE GDP, and the ministry is currently working on an industrial strategy in line with UAE Vision 2021 to establish a knowledge based economy that is diversified, and encourages SMEs and investment integrated within the global economy. This will pave the way for further opportunities to the various sectors. The UAE is working towards enhancing the industrial sector contribution in GDP to 25% in the next couple of years.
4-Your Excellency, how can you describe the development of economic relations between UAE and the rest of the world and what are the achieved results and their most prominent manifestations?
The ministry successfully enhanced the openness policy of the UAE during 2011-2012 through a number of strategic projects and initiatives which contributed to establishing new areas of cooperation with a number of countries. Through these projects, the ministry also strived to enhance international cooperation and exchange of experience, especially in the SME sector and in encouraging innovation culture.
The ministry organized 5 joint economic committees in 2011 with England, Italy, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Algeria mainly focusing on exploring investment opportunities, attracting foreign investment and encouraging SME development through MoUs and exchange of experience. The ministry also organized official trips led by His Excellency to Australia and Montenegro to explore ways of economic cooperation and enhance relations.
During the current year, the ministry had a joint economic committee with South Korea and a strategic visit to Canada to discuss ways of opening new channels of cooperation between the two countries. It was aimed at enhancing cooperation in various business sectors and introducing the UAE investment environment in the UAE as well as educating the UAE delegation about the investment opportunities in Canada.
The Ministry organized an official business trip to Italy led by senior officials who met with Italian dignitaries in both Rome and Lazio, Ancona and Marche district. During the visit, discussions on mutual cooperation between both countries were held through a joint committee which helped introduce investment opportunities in UAE and Italy.
5-What is the role of the private sector in Economic development?
The contribution of the private sector in the non-oil GDP is between 85% and 90%. The ministry ensured the creation of the ideal infrastructure required to boost the private sector by developing economic rules and regulations in line with business sector’s requirements by launching initiatives that support industrial sectors, and providing 90% of the ministry service electronically.
Other initiatives supporting local participation in economic development include those related to SMEs in coordination with specialist organizations such as Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.
Eng. Sultan Saeed Nasser Al Mansouri
UAE Minister of Economy
Eng. Sultan Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates since February 2008, has previously been Minister of communication and Minister of Development for the Government Sector.
A multifaceted personality respected for his insightful mind and sharp analytical thinking, Eng Sultan serves as Chairman of several high-profile public and private corporations as well as national initiatives including the General Civil Aviation Authority, Securities and Commodities Authority, Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection and Standing Committee for Economic Affairs of the Supreme Committee for National Security. Eng Sultan is also Vice Chairman of the Emirates Competitive Council and member of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, Committee of Finance and Economy, Federal Council on Population Composition and board of directors of Emirates Investment.
Earlier, Eng sultan was Chairman of National Bureau of Statistics, and Aman (Dubai Islamic Insurance Company) and Vice Chairman of Dubai Islamic Bank.
Eng Sultan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering & Management Systems, Arizona State University / USA and a diploma in Computer System Analysis, Institute of Computer Technology, Los Angeles, California / USA.