Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid: Time To Reflect On 10 Years’ Progress

Oct 16, 2016

Not only does the UAE lead the Middle East in more 100 critical development indicators, but it is world leader in many more, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid says. Reuters

ABU DHABI // To mark the 10 years since he became Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid reflected on some of the milestones achieved by the Government in pursuit of the country’s advancement and glory and the betterment and happiness of its citizens.

Not only does the UAE lead the Middle East in more 100 critical development indicators, but it is world leader in many more, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai said.

The high quality of the country’s infrastructure, roads, maritime and aviation facilities, public safety and security, enrolment of women at universities, government efficiency and trust in it, among others, are without equal.

"More than 10 years have passed since I assumed the position of Prime Minister and Vice President," said Sheikh Mohammed. "In those 10 years, we have launched a number of plans and strategies, led a number of reforms of our government, developed systems to track performance and improve services, encouraged innovation and the application of technology across all sectors, established awards, formed thousands of working teams, held numerous retreats and meetings and established many new government agencies.

"We can perhaps now, 10 years later, ask ourselves: what is the outcome of all this work and activity? It is important to pause occasionally and review our work, measure our accomplishments and chart our road ahead," said Sheikh Mohammed.

"Today, reviewing the past 10 years’ work, we stand on a path leading in the next five years to the year 2021, the year which we set as our target year for many objectives and goals.

"We promised great achievements and aspirations. How far have we come on our road, and how much more do we have to do in the coming five years to fulfil those promises?

"In this short address, I would like to highlight a number of indicators of our achievements. I will leave the rest to our government officials and the members of our media to discuss openly, with transparency and without embellishment but with numbers and facts, research and studies so we can right our path if we need to, work harder if required, thank those whose hard work has resulted in achievements, and encourage those who have lagged behind."

Sheikh Mohammed said Government and citizens remember that the nation’s goal is its advancement and glory and the betterment and happiness of all.

"So, let us review the past 10 years," he said.

"Despite the global financial crisis and the resulting economic slowdown, despite the upheaval and disorder our region has endured, the United Arab Emirates has shown marked progress in all sectors. Our economy has doubled in the past 10 years, from a GDP of Dh663 billion to Dh1,360bn, an improvement which has provided jobs and underpinned considerable economic and commercial opportunities for the citizens and residents of our country.

"We have continuously stressed in the past 10 years, through legislation and policies, the importance of diversifying our economy away from dependence on oil. As a result, our non-petroleum exports have increased from Dh113bn when I assumed office to Dh603bn (including free zone trade) in the past year.

"The economic contribution of the non-petroleum sector has increased from 66 per cent to some 77 per cent today. This has provided our economy with considerable protection throughout the recent decline in oil prices and meant we have been one of few countries worldwide cushioned against the resultant economic slowdown."

The public sector’s contribution to GDP has grown from Dh23bn 10 years ago to Dh86bn now, said Sheikh Mohammed.

The UAE has risen from the world’s 32nd most competitive economy to the 16th, putting the young nation on a par with countries which have hundreds of years of development behind them.

Open economic policies have made the UAE an attractive place to invest and build businesses, said Sheikh Mohammed.


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