Monday, March 16, 2009

Abu Dhabi is NOT buying Dubai companies

The rumours have been circulated around with some versions. The supposed targeted companies are Emirates airlines, DP World and Nakheel.

Economy is resilient, says Khalifa

Published: March 15, 2009, 23:05

Abu Dhabi: President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has denied rumours that the Abu Dhabi government is seeking to acquire companies owned by the Dubai government and said there are misinterpretations about the relations between the emirates.

On rumours that the Abu Dhabi government is seeking to acquire many companies owned by the Dubai government, Shaikh Khalifa said there are wrong interpretations about the nature of relations between emirates of the Federation.

Shaikh Khalifa was speaking in an interview with the new Abu Dhabi-based business daily , Alrroya, which publishes its first issue on Monday.

"Any proper economic procedure must enjoy a great deal of transparency and this is what we are keen about when dealing with the impacts of the crisis," Shaikh Khalifa said.

He stressed measures taken at the federal or local level to tackle the impact of the crisis are clear and are announced in public. Hence, there can be no room for misinterpretations.

The President stressed that the impact of the current global financial crisis on the national economy have been misunderstood and exaggerated.

He expressed confidence in the ability of national financial and economic institutions to contain the repercussions of the global financial crisis and maintain the UAE's reputation and position on the world investment map.

"Our national institutions will be able to counter any temporary burdens resulting from the global financial crisis, thanks to their accumulated experience, respect and credibility in the markets. The government will give them support to counter such burdens as and when necessary.

He said the UAE is responsibly dealing with the international community and the efforts being made to face the impact of the global economic crisis. This is in accordance with its capability as a developing nation.

"The position the UAE enjoys on the global economic map is not coincidental or temporary or borne out of certain economic circumstances but a fruit of continuous work at both federal and local levels," Shaikh Khalifa said.

"We believe the financial crisis has detected structural defects in the global financial order, which requires the world's main economic powers to rectify and reform it," the President clarified.

"Although we are victims of the global financial crisis and are paying a price, we have worked with the international community to help the countries hit by this crisis. We have also worked within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) towards shaping a collective position on the crisis. Saudi Arabia had been delegated to state this position at the G20 Summit in Washington in December 2008," Shaikh Khalifa said.

Shaikh Khalifa said the government is not working in isolation from private financial and service sectors since the economic philosophy is based on encouraging individual initiative and the free market.

"The government is committed to providing the appropriate economic climate that allows the private sector to play its role in the development process.

"The government always moves, when necessary, to extend all forms of help to national private institutions so that they can continue playing their role in the development process," Shaikh Khalifa said.

On the termination of workers from the private sector, Shaikh Khalifa said the government is following the issue. The Labour Ministry has set certain rules that ban arbitrary termination. The law regulates the termination of national and expatriate workers and protects the rights of all parties.

Oil price

Turning to oil prices, Shaikh Khalifa said the surge in revenues generated during the boom in world oil prices in 2008, though relatively short, has been reflected in public spending and salaries.

"The federal budget has seen a remarkable increase and maintained a balance despite the rise in expenditure."

Furthermore, these resources have contributed to increasing investments which back the drive for diversification of the sources of income.

The President called for the creation of a mechanism to control the world oil market to prevent harmful speculation by circles outside of the oil equation. These sections are only after quick profits regardless of the damage they inflict on producers and consumers.

"There is also a need to introduce criteria concerning tax imposed on oil which is adding a burden that has become heavier than the original price of oil."

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