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Sun 12 Jul 2009 02:22 PM

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Improve living standards to boost economy - official

Abu Dhabi will attract foreign investors if it's seen as attractive place to live, DED chairman.

Improving the quality of life for residents in Abu Dhabi will boost the local economy by attracting more foreign investors, said Nasser Alsowaidi, chairman of the Department of Economic Development (DED).

The official, in an interview with Oxford Business Group, said if the emirate was perceived as an attractive place to live more people would want to invest in it.

“The point of differentiation for foreign direct investment must be not just Abu Dhabi as a great place to do business, but also a place to live in and enjoy an economy of high per capita income,” he said.

He said that experts in design and engineering were “mobile, free to come and go where they find not just the research and development facilities, but also the warm human environment for them to settle in,” Alsowaidi said.

His comments are part of the publishing group’s analysis of the emirate’s economy, called The Report: Abu Dhabi 2009.

The report found that Abu Dhabi’s shift away from oil dependency had created foreign investment opportunities, especially in environmental and sustainability projects.

Alsowaidi said this shift allowed Abu Dhabi to further promote its other main industries, like petrochemicals, metals and technology.

“The spillover and linkages into the wider manufacturing sector, which uses these downstream products, will create more jobs, exports and foreign exchange earnings,” he said.

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