While in 2016 the world’s fastest-growing economies suffered due to low commodity prices and currency depreciations, Dubai still enjoyed steady GDP growth at around 4% and an increased drive towards consolidating its position as a knowledge-based economy.
Gabon’s economy has reached a critical juncture in 2016, with the drop in global oil prices having increased the need for and urgency of economic diversification, while reducing the availability of public financing to back the transformation. Under the now seven-year-old economic strategy, the Emerging Gabon Strategic Plan, the government has hastened efforts to expand the scope of economic activity, focusing on financial services, tourism and agriculture.
Among the most diversified economies within both the UAE and the GCC, Sharjah has long played an important cultural and economic role in the region. Home to three free zones, 16 museums and a number of annual festivals that attract visitors from around the world, the emirate continues to perform in the realms of commerce and culture. Sharjah has developed strong manufacturing, tourism and logistics industries, among other non-oil sectors.
Dubai's 5 key service sectors. Dubai has continued to focus on its core strength - services. From retail and real estate to maritime transport, tourism and financial services, the emirate's economy and key service sectors are in full flight.
Like other countries in the GCC, Saudi Arabia is undergoing a period of deep economic transformation aimed at easing the pressure on government revenues imposed by a sustained period of low oil prices, while also increasing the contribution of non-oil industries to the national economy. To this end, the government has launched Vision 2030, a long-term policy plan focused on modernising the public sector, developing the country’s human capital and opening up to greater foreign investment.
Hydrocarbons remain the mainstay of Algeria’s economy, although following the drop in oil prices since mid-2014, the government is hastening efforts to encourage investment in other sectors, with a particular focus on industry and agriculture. While foreign reserve and government debt levels are under pressure, both appear set to remain reasonably comfortable over the near future.
Over the past five years, Côte d’Ivoire has enjoyed one of the highest economic growth rates in the region. This is down to a combination of factors, including monetary policy stability, significant public investment in infrastructure and, more recently, a recovery in both the agriculture and mining sectors.
The growing recognition that economic liberalisation offers the best path forward for the country has been reflected in a number of recent reforms, including a spate of significant stimulus packages that were announced late in 2015 and continued into 2016.