Abu Dhabi to boost firms investing abroad


By Kevin Scott, Staff Reporter  www.gulfnews.com

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi is strengthening efforts to support local businesses operating in overseas markets as part of its economic strategy to move away from oil dependence.

Domestic firms and industrialists are being encouraged to expand abroad as Abu Dhabi aims to diversify its income sources while at the same time increasing the percentage contribution of different sectors.

The development is at the heart of the Abu Dhabi Economic Strategy, which outlines how the capital plans to restructure its economy by placing less emphasis on oil revenues.

Investment climate

Mohammad Omar Abdullah, Undersecretary of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, said: “The Department offers a number of services to support industrials to develop their exports. The strategy is designed to maximise the contribution of different sectors and provide an attractive environment for investment.

Abu Dhabi’s strategy of economic diversification is embodied in Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, which envisages an oil sector that leads the country’s economic development process in parallel with other sectors such as industry, tourism and services. Dr Amjad Hussain, Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance at Al Ain University, said it was a “very smart decision” by Abu Dhabi to focus on national export development as a means of diversifying its economy.

“Abu Dhabi is very much a production-based economy but of course they will have to diversify their economic output in this globalised era.

“Real commodity production is the foundation of any economy; you can quantify exports like oil and petroleum. However, Abu Dhabi also realises it has to encourage the service sector and support industrials to export their products; it is a very unique process.”

The Department of Economic Development has a busy export agenda in 2011 with scheduled appearances at exhibitions including the Hannover International Fair in Germany and the China Import and Export Fair.