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Tue 20 Oct 2009 07:15 AM

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Abu Dhabi eyes overseas partners to realise vision

Officials from UAE capital say technical expertise sought in growth plans.

Abu Dhabi will seek partnerships with private companies overseas to help in its efforts to become "much more industrialised", a senior official announced on Monday.

The global plans of the UAE capital were revealed at the second annual Abu Dhabi Investment Forum in London.

According to key speakers at the forum, the emirate would look for tie-ups, particularly in technology transfer, as part of the Abu Dhabi’s Vision for 2030.

Nasser Ahmed Alsowaidi, chairman, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, said foreign direct investment (FDI) was crucial to the development of all of the city’s economic, social and human dimensions.

“Abu Dhabi seeks to maximise its slice of FDI despite ample financial resources. The trend towards attracting foreign investments is not driven by the need for capital, despite the increasing importance of this factor, but has to do with technology transfer," he said.

"The flow of foreign investments to any country results in benefits that go beyond the mere attraction of capital and modern technology. Through foreign investments we will also be benefiting from the advanced managerial, operational and technical expertise of foreign companies, besides their experience in the utilization of national resources,” he added.

Britain is currently the leading international investor in the UAE, ranking higher than China and India – according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Trade volumes are increasing at 15-20 percent annually with the UAE exporting £1.1bn worth of goods and services and importing £3.2bn from the UK.

Lord Davies of Abersoch, UK Minister for Trade, Investment and Small Business, said: “The UK is a world leader in the field of technology transfer. Our innovative scientists and businesses working in areas such as low carbon, energy, nanotechnology and ICT collaborate have the expertise to help Abu Dhabi in the years ahead."

The Statistics Centre-Abu Dhabi’s recent results of six major surveys for 2007-2008 set the total value of economic activities in the emirate at AED688.3bn, of which the industrial sector represented 65.5 percent.