Sheikh Mohammed reviews decade of leadership, highlights path to 2021



In a detailed State of the Union, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, reviewed his 10 years of leadership and highlighted the path to 2021.
Sheikh Mohammed said: "Over 10 years have passed since I assumed the position of Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates. In those 10 years, we have launched a number of plans and strategies, led a number of reforms of our government, developed systems to track performance and improve services, encouraged innovation and the application of technology across all sectors, established awards, formed thousands of working teams, held numerous retreats and meetings and established many new government agencies.
"We can perhaps now, 10 years later, ask ourselves: what is the outcome of all this work and activity? It is important to pause occasionally and review our past work, measure our accomplishments and chart our road ahead.
"Today, reviewing the past 10 years’ work, we stand on a path leading in the next five years to the year 2021, the year which we set as our target year for many objectives and goals. We promised great achievements and aspirations. How far have we come on our road, and how much more do we have to do in the coming five years to fulfil those promises?
"In this short address, I would like to highlight a number of indicators of our achievements. I will leave the rest to our government officials and the members of our media to discuss openly, with transparency and without embellishment but with numbers and facts, research and studies so we can right our path if we need to, work harder if required, thank those whose hard work has resulted in achievements, and encourage those who have lagged behind.
"Through all of this, we remember that our goal is the advancement and glory of our nation and the betterment and happiness of our citizens. So let us review the past 10 years.
"Despite the global financial crisis and the resulting economic slowdown, despite the upheaval and disorder our region has endured, the UAE has shown marked progress in all sectors.
"Our economy has doubled in the past 10 years, from a GDP of Dh663 billion to Dh1,360 billion, an improvement which has provided jobs and underpinned considerable economic and commercial opportunities for the citizens and residents of our country.
"We have continuously stressed in the past 10 years, through legislation and policies, the importance of diversifying our economy away from dependence on oil. As a result, our non-petroleum exports have increased from Dh113bn when I assumed office to Dh603bn (including free zone trade) in the past year.
"The economic contribution of the non-petroleum sector has increased from 66 per cent to some 77 per cent today. This has provided our economy with considerable protection throughout the recent decline in oil prices and meant we have been one of few countries worldwide cushioned against the resultant economic slowdown.
"With the development of government systems and services, the public sector’s contribution to GDP has grown from Dh23bn 10 years ago to Dh86bn currently. We have seen a major growth in our competitiveness, from being the world’s 32nd most competitive economy to the 16th. This has placed the young nation of the UAE on a par with countries who have hundreds of years of development behind them.
:Due to our open economic policies, Foreign Direct Investment has seen a sharp increase from Dh179bn to Dh410bn in the past 10 years, while our banks’ total assets has increased from Dh859.6bn to Dh2,478.2bn.
"When it comes to health and education, which we consider to be among the most important sectors for our people, the indicators of the health sector point to a significant progress. Our expenditure on the health sector has increased from Dh1.18bn dirhams when I first assumed office to over Dh3.82bn currently. The number of doctors has increased from 10 to over seventeen thousand.

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