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Tue 12 Jan 2010 01:58 AM

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IMF staff say UAE economic talks were 'fruitful'

Purpose of visit was to 'review recent economic developments' and to prepare a staff report.

An International Monetary Fund mission to the UAE had productive talks with government officials during a visit to prepare an assessment of the country’s economy, the institution said.

IMF officials visited Jan 3 to 11 to “review recent economic developments,” and had “fruitful talks about the status of the economy, as well as the medium-term outlook,” the IMF said in an emailed statement today.

They will prepare a staff report to be discussed by the IMF board “in a few weeks,” the IMF said.

The economy of Dubai, which accounts for about 40 percent of the UAE’s gross domestic product, has been battered by the global crisis as credit markets seized up, trade declined and real estate prices plummeted.

The slowdown forced Dubai World, one of the emirate’s three main state owned business groups, to say on Nov 25 that it’s seeking to postpone $26 billion in debt payments.

The emirate received $25 billion in financial support last year from the Abu Dhabi government, the UAE central bank and two Abu Dhabi based banks.

The IMF expects a slower expansion in the emirates in 2010, with non oil growth “significantly lower” than the most recent forecast by the Washington based institution for a 3 percent increase and higher than the zero to one percent growth this year, Masood Ahmed, director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia department, said Dec 2.

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