Sharjah24 – WAM: Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, has emphasised that the vision and directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, constitute the foundation of the national industrial strategy.
The strategy is designed to contribute to a diversified and sustainable economy and leverage the UAE's value proposition and competitive advantages to build a strong industrial sector, enhance self-sufficiency and localise supply chains, Dr. Al Jaber made the remarks during a keynote address at the "Make it in the Emirates" Forum.
The Forum convenes leading national companies, manufacturers, local and international industrial investors and financial institutions.
He said, "The COVID-19 pandemic and recent geopolitical challenges have disrupted our supply chains and affected the global economy; an experience from which we extracted many lessons.
"One of the most important lessons we learned is that regardless of global economic conditions, enhancing self-sufficiency and resilience in vital sectors such as food, healthcare, and the sectors critical to ensuring business continuity and economic growth, is critical."
He noted that the Ministry was guided by the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, saying, "The UAE, with its strong will, resources, capabilities and effective policies, is capable of building a global economic base. By achieving self-sufficiency in several vital industries, we will enhance the resilience of our economy in the face of global crises and safeguard the UAE from global economic challenges."
The Minister continued, "Based on the vision of our leadership, we worked on developing and launching a national industrial strategy, in consultation with all relevant parties in the industrial sector, including government and private sector companies, investors, and financial institutions through transparent dialogue and various workshops, studies, and international and regional benchmarking.
He added that the country's industrial strategy aims to create an attractive business environment for local and international industrial investors, support the growth of national industries, enhance their competitiveness and empower innovation and the adoption of advanced technologies.
It also aims to strengthen the UAE's position as a global destination for industries of the future and the Ministry encourages financial institutions to offer competitive financing and administrative services based on quality, efficiency and transparency as well as contribute to support the development of laws and legislations that help support and protect the national products.
"Our objective is to safeguard our national progress, leverage the legislative system, attract investments to our industrial sector, support local manufacturing and create growth opportunities, with an ultimate goal of empowering our national economy and increasing the industrial sector's contribution to our GDP to more than AED300 billion by 2031," Dr. Al Jaber noted.
He added, "A key enabler of our work has been to research and identify priority sectors to achieve our goal, which includes food and agriculture, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, heavy industries such as aluminium and iron, defence, electrical equipment and appliances, and future industries like space and clean energy such as hydrogen."
The Minister continued, "We have worked closely with the Emirates Development Bank to provide competitive financing solutions supporting the growth of industrial companies. And so far, the bank has provided 2 billion dirhams to finance priority sectors. The Ministry is looking forward to more competitive financing programs through the various financial institutions and authorities in the country.
"Following the directives of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, during the latest edition of the World Government Summit, to support the nation's industrial development, the Ministry increased its efforts to develop our industrial ecosystem and support the growth of the national industrial sector.
"The Ministry also introduced important programmes and initiatives to standardise procedures, reduce duplication, reduce fees in the sector, provide a platform for innovative entrepreneurs and start-ups, and open new markets in cooperation with our colleagues at the Ministry of Economy and the national departments of economic development."
He went on to say, "As part of the UAE's commitment to cooperate with global partners, we entered into an Industrial Partnership with Egypt and Jordan. The partnership leverages the competitive advantages of each of these nations to promote industry growth and achieve sustainable economic development. Most importantly, the partnership will provide new export opportunities for manufacturers and focuses on five promising industrial sectors, including food and agriculture, fertilisers, pharmaceuticals, textiles, minerals, and petrochemicals "Another very important initiative was the launch of the National In-Country Value (ICV) Programme. The programme aims to redirect a large amount of purchase value of major companies and government agencies into the local economy by providing local companies with a competitive advantage in the government procurement process and access to capital and smart financing solutions. This will contribute to developing local industry, strengthen supply chains, substitute imports, and create jobs.
Currently, 45 government entities, six leading national companies, and 5,500 local industrial companies are participating in the programme. In its first year, the National ICV Programme succeeded in redirecting more than AED40 billion into the national economy.
He explained that one of the most important objectives of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology is to leverage local purchasing power to develop the industrial sector, especially through the national In-Country Value Programme.
"Therefore, we have cooperated with the relevant government agencies, large national companies, investors, manufacturers, and various stakeholders, in preparing for this forum, which today is presenting you with opportunities from a group of leading national companies that have significant purchasing power. They include ADNOC, ADQ Holding, Emirates Global Aluminium, TAQA, Etisalat, Etihad Airways, Edge, Mubadala, Emirates Steel, Pure Health, Strata, Aldar, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, Etihad Rail, and Masdar, among others.
"These companies today are offering more than 300 products and materials, which can be manufactured locally at competitive prices, at quality standards and with approved schedules, as additional manufacturing opportunities for existing and new investors."
This data will help manufacturers increase local production to meet the needs of large national companies, whether by relying on their existing capabilities or by creating partnerships and attracting external investors.
He continued, "I am happy to announce that these large national companies have committed to allocating nearly AED110 billion in potential purchase agreements for local manufacturers. The forum's sessions and exhibition will provide details of these products and industrial investment opportunities. This unprecedented move will create opportunities for the growth of the national industrial sector, adding at least AED6 billion annually to GDP.
Dr. Al Jaber highlighted the UAE's strong value proposition, saying, "The UAE enjoys many competitive advantages, the most important of which is a wise and supportive leadership that always looks to the future with a positive outlook, provides and focuses on ensuring stability, and have given directives for a flexible and encouraging environment to achieve our goals."
"We also enjoy a highly skilled workforce, energy resources, raw materials, a strategic geographic location, advanced infrastructure, transparent regulations and laws, reliability and credibility, competitive financing, an excellent quality of life in a diverse, tolerant and secure society, strategic partnership agreements and cooperation and trade agreements with various countries around the world. All of which have enabled us to develop our national industry, attract investments, build partnerships, and enter new markets."
He highlighted that they are currently working with the relevant authorities on additional enablers and features to enhance the ease of doing business and reduce costs. "We will hear from some of our partners today and in the next few weeks about some of these plans."
Concluding his keynote speech with a call to action, the Minister extended an open invitation to all attendees to take advantage of the forum.
He concluded by saying, "I invite everyone here to take advantage of the opportunities the forum offers through the plans provided by our leading national companies. These include their current product procurement pipeline, their projected demand for various products, materials and services, as well as their commitment to allocate part of that procurement to local suppliers. All these efforts will contribute to developing existing industries and creating new ones."
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