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NAFL Directory 14-02-2018 LR

| Economic Overview

| Economic Overview NAFL-Yearbook 2018 United Arab Emirates (UAE): Strong & resilient The UAE economy remains strong despite external and internal challenges with various economic forecasts pointing to possible growth of 3.9 percent in 2018 with diversification and high degree of openness in its financial capital, Dubai, generating much of the growth. As the oil sector slowly recovers and nonoil sector benefits from preparations for the Dubai World Expo 2020, growth is likely to be sustained in 2019. The second largest economy in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia, the UAE is also ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa in terms of quality of infrastructure, and third globally in the sub-indices of compatibility and “connectedness” based on the latest survey of logistics global expert, Agility, highlighting high standards of business climates, infrastructure and transport connections. Valued at US$25.9 billion in 2016, the UAE logistics sector is forecast to grow even more in the coming years as the countr y successfully positioned itself as the main logistics point in the MENA region coupled with the government's massive investment plans and infrastructure initiatives. The market intelligence company Frost & Sullivan noted: “Logistics infrastructure is increasingly becoming important due to UAE's emergence as a transshipment hub for Europe-Asia trade. Investments are being made in infrastructure development which is expected to strengthen the competitiveness of the logistics market. Investments related to EXPO 2020 would attract foreign investments and further | 333

| NAFL-Yearbook 2018 Economic Overview improve the investment climate in the country. In order to handle the increasing demand for logistics services, several initiatives have been undertaken to develop Logistics parks, Free Trade Zones near airports and seaports. “Airport and sea port modernization are being undertaken with a view to automate the existing processes, one such example being virtual corridor in Dubai, which is an automated customs procedure connecting seaports, airports, and free zones on a single platform, enabling free movement of goods, and making the processes more efficient. UAE is at the forefront of adopting new technologies,” according to Frost & Sullivan. In this part of the world, warehouses are becoming automated with companies switching to more automation and robotics to speed up production process. Dubai is leading the growth in the UAE, drawing on the continued recovery in global trade, the Dubai Economic Outlook cited in its latest report. The report reviewed the major macro and sectoral levels developments in Dubai in 2016 and 2017, and points to the prospects for 2018 in the context of foreign direct investment, E x p o 2 0 2 0 a n d o t h e r transformational initiatives aimed at the sustainable development of the emirate in the medium term as well as regional and global trends. In terms of openness, Dubai ranked third in the world after Luxembourg and Hong Kong, with a high degree of dependence on foreign trade for income. Dubai's openness ratio was 321% in 2016, meaning that trade flows were more than three times higher than the net value added in the economy. | 333

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