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Tue 5 Feb 2008 12:34 PM

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UAE's industrial sector worth $20bn

Sector surges 66.4% in four years, now third-largest contributor to Emirates' economy, minister says.

The UAE's industrial sector has surged 66.4% over the last four years and is now the third-largest contributor to the economy, the minister of state for finance and industry said on Monday.

Mohammed Khalfan bin Kharbash said the sector was worth 73 billion dirhams ($19.9 billion) at the end of 2007, contributing nearly 20% to the UAE's gross domestic product (GDP).

He said the number of manufacturing units in the country rose to 3,852 at the end of last year, a 37.8% increase from 2,795 in 2003.

"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," said bin Kharbash, speaking at the Dubai Industrial Investment and Partnership Forum (DIIPF).

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

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