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IMF lauds UAE’s COVID-19 response, benefits to economy

People wear face masks amid the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Global Village in Dubai, UAE. (Reuters/File Photo)
People wear face masks amid the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Global Village in Dubai, UAE. (Reuters/File Photo)
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19 Feb 2022 12:02:39 GMT9
19 Feb 2022 12:02:39 GMT9
  • International Monetary Fund predicts 3.5 percent growth in UAE for 2022
  • Expo 2020, transition from oil and healthy banking sector all aiding country’s recovery
Arab News

LONDON: The International Monetary Fund has praised the UAE’s COVID-19 response and vaccine rollout and the positive effects those efforts have had on the country’s economy.

The IMF said Thursday: “The UAE moved quickly to address the health and economic effects of the pandemic. Widespread testing and containment measures helped limit the initial spread of the virus, while early vaccination efforts have resulted in vaccination rates among the highest globally.”

These efforts, the IMF continued, have given rise to a healthy recovery from the economic shock of the pandemic.

“The economic recovery is gaining momentum, supported by the UAE’s early and strong health response, continued supportive macroeconomic policies, and rebound in tourism and domestic activity related to the delayed Expo 2020.”

By December last year, Expo 2020 had received over 8 million visitors.

“Strong reform efforts are underway with the ambitious UAE 2050 Strategy. Recent reforms to promote private sector growth and development are important to strengthen non-oil growth, boost productivity, and attract foreign investment.

The IMF predicted an overall gross domestic product growth rate of 3.5 percent in 2022.

Over the medium-term, growth is expected to accelerate with the benefit of structural reform efforts, increased foreign investment and rising oil production.

The growing non-oil sector, pushed forward by the Emirates’ Energy Strategy 2050, is key to the country’s positive outlook. The strategy aims to diversify the country’s energy usage, with the goal of 50 percent renewable sources by 2050.

The IMF added that some risks to the country and world economy do remain as a result of the pandemic but encouraged the UAE to mitigate these by pursuing “further efforts to maintain macro-financial stability, strengthen fiscal policy frameworks, foster economic diversification, and improve inter-generational equity and climate sustainability.”

It added: “Ensuring public health and supporting the most vulnerable remain top priorities.”

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