Published On:30 November 2011
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

UAE: First Gulf Arab country pursuing peaceful nuclear programme

By Shafek E Koreshe

Abu Dhabi: The United Arab Emirates is pursuing the mission of a peaceful civil nuclear programme to meet its growing energy needs and to deliver efficient energy to its grid by 2017 and beyond. UAE’s Undersecretary of the Department of Economic Development Mohammad Omar Abdullah told a group of foreign reporters from 43 countries said UAE being the first Gulf Arab country with nuclear capability was complying the relevant international guidelines on controls and inspection.

The Under Secretary said the UAE was in strategic cooperation with South Korea on civilian use of nuclear energy.

The UAE offered a bid tender which was won by the Korean Electricity company, Korea’s biggest electricity company, back in 2009 for rights to build the UAE’s first nuclear reactors.

The Emirati-Korean Nuclear joint program will cost the UAE about $30 billion namely Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp and Korea Electric Power Corp.

Omar Abdullah said despite Japan’s nuclear disaster earlier this year, the government of the UAE decided to continue with its nuclear project, which includes four nuclear reactors.

He said the UAE is also emerging as a leader in research into sustainable energy and mentioned that Abu Dhabi was the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

He also briefed the journalists about Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030 which regards national economy as the cornerstone for sustainable growth.

He said despite the fact that UAE remains one of the world’s largest producers of hydrocarbons and is the fourth largest oil reserves and with a production rate of around 2.5 million barrels a day, it does not want to rely on oil as it was risky due to the volatility in its price.

He said under the vision, the economy of the Emirates was being made robust and diversified by integrating and forming strategic international alliances.

He said there was also a growing focus on public and private partnerships and there was an increasing reliance on steel, petrochemical sector, services and tourism sectors.

He pointed that around 16 percent growth has been observed in the non-oil sector in over the years.

He said the UAE was also trying to integrate with other States to ensure that the pace of development positively impacts the entire Emirates.

He particularly mentioned Dubai which he said complimented Abu Dhabi. He said however there was a difference of approach between the two, as Dubai relied more on commercialism and tourism, while Abu Dhabi was inclined towards petro-chemicals and services.
He said despite the global recession, the UAE has witnessed increased Foreign Direct Investment and did not feel threatened from the Euro zone crisis.

Governor Central Bank of UAE Sultan Nasser Al Suwaidi gave a brief account of the economy and said 24 banks were incorporated with it including eight dealing with Islamic banking.

Apart from that, 32 foreign banks were operational with a portfolio of around 344 billion AED Dirhams.

He said the size of the Islamic banking was similar to that of Malaysia and said it was still a growing sector that was learning to implement the principles of Islamic finance.
To a question he said the closer interaction and integration within the GCC would be a definite boost for the entire region.

About implementation of sanctions against Syria by the UAE, he said these would be pursued if the UAE government or the UN Security Council resolution asks for it.

About sanctions against Iran, he said UAE would abide by the UN resolutions and would continue to work with the US and European Union authorities.
When sought advise about the ongoing Euro Zone crisis, he said the member states needed to be patient and they would be over their problems soon.

To a question, he said the UAE would continue to peg its currency with the US dollar and was comfortable with it. He said his government also invests in the US treasury and depends on the changing requirements.

(Courtesy: APP, Pakistan)

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on November 30, 2011. Filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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