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null Ministry of Economy and World Bank launch report on the impact of non-communicable diseases on GCC’s economic growth

17 May 2023

Ministry of Economy and World Bank launch report on the impact of non-communicable diseases on GCC’s economic growth


H.E. Bin Touq elaborates on the UAE’s economic growth in 2022



The Ministry of Economy, in collaboration with the World Bank, launched a report titled The health and economic burden of non-communicable diseases in GCC countries,during a workshop organized by the Ministry today (Wednesday, May 17), in partnership with the World Bank Group.

The session was attended by H.E. Abdulla bin Touq al Marri, Minister of Economy; H.E. Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy; and Issam Abu Suleiman, Regional Director of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at the World Bank, along with representatives of several local and federal entities and the private sector.

A number of experts, researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders also participated in the workshop in order to highlight the GCC’s current economic landscape. The report emphasizes the impact of non-communicable diseases on GCC economies owing to increased health expenditure and decreased human productivity, and ways to mitigate their adverse effects on the health and economic sectors.

H.E. Bin Touq said: "The UAE is keen to strengthen cooperation with the World Bank and other global economic organizations, recognizing the importance of cooperation and knowledge-sharing in decision-making and the development of policies and strategies based on reliable data, which contribute to driving economic growth on a sound footing."

"The report presents a comprehensive picture of GCC’s current economic landscape as well as a thorough analysis of our performance, potential opportunities and prospects for growth and the extrapolation of challenges and risks amidst various global shifts," he added.

H.E. underlined that the UAE, following its wise leadership’s directives, approaches these shifts with a clear, forward-looking, and comprehensive vision. A leading example is the modernization and development of more than 40 legislations that has enhanced national economic diversification. Such developments have also accelerated the UAE’s transition towards a new, more flexible and sustainable economic model, with a renewed focus on renewable energy, trade, tourism, manufacturing, digitization and the health sector.

"The UAE witnessed a record-breaking 7.6 per cent GDP growth in 2022, one of the highest globally. In addition, non-oil foreign trade totaled AED 2.2 trillion for the first time in its history, and tourism expenditure increased by 70 per cent to reach AED 121 billion,” he added.

H.E. noted that these results are in line with the country’s strategic goal to double the national economy in the light of “We the UAE 2031” vision.

The Minister of Economy explained that the national economy is expected to grow further in 2023 surpassing predictions. The UAE is the second fastest growing economy in the Gulf region, owing, inter alia, to the five-month PMI increase amid strong growth in new demands, the largest expansion of procurement stocks in five years, as well as the support for existing comprehensive economic partnerships and those that are set to come into effect. The continuing inflow of talent and foreign direct investment is yet another factor, which will increase the resilience of the economy and enhance investor confidence on the UAE’s innovative economic policies.

The UAE will continue to stimulate investments in health care, education, and social safety nets to increase the competitiveness of its economy while strengthening the role of the private sector and supporting innovation and sustainability to create more jobs in key sectors, most importantly health. H.E. also noted that the UAE has strengthened the connection between public health and economic growth in line with its future vision and development policies in this regard. The sector is one of the priorities for economic development and the national efforts to attract investment and talent to the country.

Moreover, H.E. Bin Touq reviewed the growth indicators of the UAE’s health sector, noting that the contribution of health and social services to GDP was 1.6 per cent in 2022, up 13 per cent from 2021. He added that the economic policies adopted by the UAE over the past couple of years have played a key role in attracting investments to health care. The foremost among these policies is the amendment of the Companies Law to allow 100 per cent full foreign ownership of enterprises. The health sector experienced one of the highest growth rates in FDI inflows, up 9 per cent in 2021 as compared to 2020.

The report tackles the economic and health impact of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and respiratory diseases. It also sheds light on the latest economic developments in the Gulf region and the development efforts and initiatives undertaken over the past years. These include the establishment of a highly favorable business climate, enhanced competitiveness, and greater opportunity for women's participation in economic development - all of which supported GCC’s economic growth journey in 2022.

The full report can be found here


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