ABU DHABI - UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the current international global crisis pose fresh responsibilities on the world at large to take serious steps to curb it, citing the GCC countries have already tasked Saudi Arabia to reflect their views on setting mechanisms to tackle the issue.
Addressing the press conference jointly with the visiting German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier at Emirates Palace Thursday, Sheikh Abdullah highlighted the UAE-Germany relations, which have been growing steadily in the all fields.
He underscored that the “GCC will exert utmost efforts to reform and rescue the world from the Financial Global Crisis through cooperation with the partners and the international financial institutions.” Sheikh Abdullah said “we are keen to see the world witness growth to achieve the millennium objectives set in year 2000 by United Nations,” adding that looming depression could affect the economies of the developing countries.
He added that Pakistan friends, of whom the UAE is a member, ‘”are spurring the International Monetary Fund to negotiate with Pakistan in order to help it overcome the economic and security problems, indicating that Germany is cooperating positively in this respect.
Steinmeier reiterated that the two countries will cooperate in solving the global financial crisis, adding that the role of the GCC countries with strong economies is vital in this regard.
“The economy is very important in the relations between Germany and the UAE. The German Companies are considerably contributing in the infrastructure projects in the UAE. Germany is also a major partner in the UAE’s alternative energy projects,” he added.
The German official said both countries enjoy strong relations in all fields, adding that Germany and the UAE have common interest in the region, citing their efforts to prevent deterioration in Pakistan. He said the Pakistan friends will hold conference in Abu Dhabi in November.
“We have been cooperating in training the Iraqi police. We are also cooperating to expand Mazar-e-Sherif Airport in North of Afghanistan for the economic purposes by transforming it into civil- military airport’, he said. Earlier today the UAE and German Foreign Ministers held talks, which focused on the bilateral relations.
The global liquidity crunch and financial market turmoil will not deter the UAE from implementing and delivering all announced projects on time because authorities have a back-up financing plan, said Hani Al Hamili, secretary-general of the Dubai Economic Council (DEC).
“Even if the global credit situation worsens and the meltdown continues indefinitely, our government has its own source of finance to fall back on,” Al Hamili said on the sidelines of a conference on value added tax this week.
Hamili said the economic council would, next week, present to the Dubai government a comprehensive action plan to address the short-term and long-term economic challenges against the backdrop of the global economic contraction.
Dubai Economic Council advises the government of Dubai on forward-looking economic strategies, advocates sound policies that promote business environment, productivity and investment climate, and enhances Dubai’s competitiveness in the world economy.
He said the UAE government and monetary authorities had already acted proactively to address the liquidity crunch with a AED120 billion program to shore up the country’s financial system.
He said the UAE authorities were ready to make available more funds, if necessary, to ensure that the cash crunch would not hamper development projects and derail the economic growth momentum.
“All recent measures taken by the government, including a growth-oriented budget with a 21 per cent increase in allocation, are positive enough to assure residents and investors that everything is normal and the liquidity situation is well under control,” Hamili noted.
The country’s AED42.2 billion budget for 2009 was approved by the Federal Cabinet on Oct. 21.
“The current credit squeeze and the bleak global recessionary trend came as no big surprise. We had anticipated a scenario such as this and put in place a plan to ensure that our ongoing projects would remain unaffected,” he pointed out.
“The UAE is not only a regional business hub, but also a global destination for foreign direct investments. It has enhanced its position as one of the leading competitive economies in the world after it moved up six positions to 31st place in the Global Competitiveness Report 2008-09. The report reflects the strength of the UAE economy and its ability to compete internationally. Our government’s goal is to position the country among the top 10 advanced economies of the world,” he said.
The UAE is also ranked 16th out of 52 countries in the World Economic Forum’s inaugural Financial Development Index. The country topped the Middle East region in the list which was headed by the US, followed by the UK, Germany, Japan, Canada and France. - Agencies