UAE Minister of Economy among world's 100 most powerful women
H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi, the UAE Minister of Economy, is one of the five women in the Middle East considered by the US-based business magazine Forbes to be among the world's 100 most powerful women.
The Forbes article credited Sheikha Lubna with creating more transparency and corporate governance in the UAE, and recognised her effective negotiation skills and intensive trade relations program that sees her travel to four countries each month to promote the UAE.
The announcement comes only days ahead of H.E. Sheikha Lubna's visit to Italy, where she will be the first Arab woman to be awarded the 'Stella Re' prize by the Italian Foundation, Sandretto Re Baudengo. The prize is awarded to only one woman every year who strives to make a difference to contemporary society and culture through her innovative work, dedication and ideas. A special committee selected H.E. for the Stella Re prize, which will be presented during an awards ceremony in Turin later this month.
Securing first place on the Forbes list, which is graded according to a composite of visibility and measured by press citations and economic impact, is Angela Merkel - German's first woman Chancellor, followed by China's Vice Premier, Wu Yi, in second place. Other women from the Arab World to be ranked in the top 100 are Maha Al-Ghunaim, Chairman and Managing Director of Global Investment House, Kuwait; Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, First Lady, Qatar; Queen Rania, Queen of Jordan; and Vidya Chhabria, Chairman of Jumbo Group, UAE.
Since becoming Economic Minister in 2004, H.E. Sheikha Lubna has been responsible for overseeing major economic growth within the UAE, and promoting increased diversification of the country's economy. According to estimates from the Central Bank of the UAE, tremendous growth in the last couple of years has boosted the per capita GDP to an all time high of USD 28,147 in 2005, compared with USD 24,380 in 2004. The GDP is estimated to have grown by 14 per cent in 2006 to reach AED 553.4 billion, while in real terms the economy is estimated to achieve 9.7 per cent growth rate during 2006 and 2007.
Prior to 2004, H.E. Sheikha Lubna was the Chief Executive of Tejari (www.tejari.com
), the Middle East's premier electronic business-to-business marketplace; before which time she spent more than seven years as the Senior Manager of the information systems department at the Dubai Ports Authority (DPA). As the first woman in the UAE's history to assume a cabinet position, H.E. Sheikha Lubna oversees the alignment of the UAE Government strategy with the country's current and future economic growth.