Abu Dhabi optimistic

ABU DHABI'S GROSS domestic product (GDP) is expected to expand up to six per cent on year in 2009, a top government official said recently. "It will be single-digit growth this year, between four per cent to six per cent," Nasser Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi's Department of Economic Development, told reporters on the sidelines of the Korea-Abu Dhabi Investment Roadshow 2009. Abu Dhabi's economy is estimated to have grown at least 17 per cent in 2008 on the back of record-high global oil prices.

The largest chunk of Abu Dhabi's revenue is generated from crude oil exports. The emirate's oil exports comprise more than 90 per cent of the UAE's crude exports. "We see 2010 as a positive year. Abu Dhabi remains committed towards infrastructure projects. We expect global oil prices next year to be in the range of US$60-$80 [Dh220.2-Dh293.6] per barrel," said Al Suwaidi. Separately, he said foreign direct investments in Abu Dhabi have increased this year, compared to 2008. In addition, he said, Abu Dhabi is working on the Industrial Law and interacting closely with the private sector on specific issues. "A study on the Industrial Law is currently underway," he said. Al Suwaidi also said Abu Dhabi's draft Commercial Law is in the final stages. "It will be announced very soon. The Commercial Law will address concerns of the private sector - both foreign and local."

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