Booming Economy in Abu Dhabi
Before the world financial crisis hit, Abu Dhabi was faring pretty well. This situation has not changed and it is now anticipated that the country will experience a financial growth of 4.5% in GDP in 2011. This was the message taken away from the Abu Dhabi Investment Forum in China, attended by over 600 senior official and businessmen from the Chinese Tianjin. According to the chair of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED) Nasser Al Suwaidi, what has been witnessed over the last two years is that Abu Dhabi has become the “second most attractive city for direct foreign investments in 2010, totaling AED 2.7 bn” out of the whole Middle East region.
Strength of Abu Dhabi
Because Abu Dhabi has been showing such strength vis-à-vis goods transport business and the promotion of its “development projects in the international markets,” Al Suwaidi noted that the country is indicating “promising signs for prosperity and a more positive future.” The DED is trying to push the role of Abu Dhabi’s Competitiveness Bureau in a way to lead to economic growth and stability, in an attempt to “bolster positive and growing ties with businessmen and investors whilst helping drive the economic welfare and positive performance as per the international competitiveness indexes.”
The UAE also has much of which to be proud, ranking in as the China’s second biggest trade partner within the GCC as well as the Arab world’s “largest market for the Chinese exports.” Trade (non-oil) between Abu Dhabi and China increased from $7.2bn to $13.4bn in four years between 2005-09. In addition, as noted by Al Suwaidi noted how the UAE has paid substantial interest to “boost investment ties with China” in areas like real estate and finance, “leading the UAE’s investment in China to grow to $220 million.” In addition UAE “tops Arab Countries in attracting Chinese investments with forecasts showing that there are 3,000 companies operating in the UAE in multiple sectors such as real estate, construction, trade, services and tourism.” The Forum is a great way of encouraging cohesion between Abu Dhabi and China while looking at where there could be interest for the two countries in major sectors, and developing greater trade relations.