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Tue 5 Feb 2008 03:07 AM

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UAE industry worth $20bn

Industrial sector is now the country's third largest economic producer, minister says.

The UAE’s industrial sector is now the country’s third largest economic producer, contributing almost 20% to GDP in 2007, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday.

The sector was worth 73 billion dirhams ($19.9 billion) by the end of last year, representing a 66% increase since 2003, UAE minister of state for finance and industry Mohammed Khalfan Bin Kharbash told the Dubai Industrial Investment and Partnership Forum (DIIPF).

Manufacturing units in the country stood at 3,852 at the end of last year, marking a 37.8% increase since 2003, when the government began prioritising industry in its long-term economic diversification plans.

The industrial sector was now a key performer in the UAE, with no single sector dominating the landscape, Kharbash said.

"We will continue to foster progress in the industrial sector for the long term benefit not only of the economy, but also for sociological reasons as this sector can deliver fresh job and career opportunities for nationals” he said.

"The Government is now working to ensure global best practices are prevalent throughout the industrial and financial sectors."

The DIIPF, which aims to promote industrial investment, runs at the Dubai World Trade Centre until February 6.

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