ABU DHABI, 30th January, 2023 (WAM) — The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) today launched the Industrial Census project, in collaboration with the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (FCSC), the members of the Industry Development Council, and the local statistics centers.
The project aims to create a comprehensive database of all establishments that practise industrial activities according to the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC4 – Section C), including those operating in free zones, whether their licences are industrial or non-industrial.
The move is in line with the Federal Decree-Law No. 25 of 2022 regarding the regulation and development of industry and Ministerial Decision No. 6 of 2023 regulating the process for industrial establishments to provide MoIAT with their information.
The project was announced at a press conference organised by MoIAT in Abu Dhabi. As part of the project, MoIAT will provide industrial companies and establishments with a reliable and flexible mechanism to participate in the census and submit their information.
The project will help create new investment opportunities for manufacturers, investors, and owners of industrial companies, as well as help decision makers track, assess and enhance the competitiveness of the industrial sector and inform related future policies and decisions that make the sector flexible. The project is in line with the national strategy for industry and advanced technology, Operation 300 billion, which aims to help create a business environment that attracts local and international investments in the industrial sector and boost the growth and competitiveness of national industries.
Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Chairman of the Industry Development Council, said, “The project is in line with directives of our leadership to develop the industrial sector in the UAE and boost its contribution to national GDP. To achieve the objectives of the national strategy for industry and advanced technology, MoIAT, in partnership with FCSC, local authorities, and freezones, plays a pivotal role in creating an enabling legislative framework that supports the industrial sector and helps to attract local and foreign investments.”
He added, “As accurate data plays an important role in increasing the country’s global competitiveness, the Industrial Census project is a key step in developing a centralised national database for the industrial sector. The project supports efforts to build a knowledge-based economy that promotes innovation, research and development (R&D), and future growth opportunities. It will also contribute to the adoption of circular economy principles, help integrate producers and manufacturers in the national economy ecosystem and promote the growth of local supply chains.”
Al Jaber continues to say, “Developing a comprehensive, reliable and up-to-date industrial database will help us provide suppliers and manufacturers with scientific analysis to help develop a comprehensive picture of the current landscape and a view of potential future challenges. It will also help us identify SMEs that require government support, as well as ways to enhance their competitiveness in local, regional and global markets.
Omar Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, said, “As part of the project, we developed an online form jointly with FCSC, and will share it with industrial companies, including those in free zones, to fill out within 60 days. The online form will request information about their businesses, such as licences, shareholders, some financial figures, R&D expenses, number of workers, and the quantity and value of inputs in industrial production as per the Harmonised System (HS).”
He stressed that the privacy of the information submitted through the form will be maintained, and the curated database will only be used for the analytical research.
The project aims to measure the industrial sector’s performance and contribution to national GDP to help upscale local industrial capabilities and promote integration between government entities and stakeholders by exchanging related information. It will also improve the sector’s readiness and business continuity, especially during crises, and enhance the UAE’s ranking in international economic competitiveness indicators, including those related to food and medicine security.
Hanan Ahli, Director of FCSC, said, “The UAE leadership is committed to developing the industrial sector as a main contributor to our national economy. The importance of the Industrial Census project lies in making available accurate and up-to-date information on the status quo of our industrial companies and establishments. In turn, this informs the decision-making process and helps the government launch targeted initiatives and projects that enable the industrial sector and increase its share in the country’s non-oil GDP, which accounted for 11 percent in the first nine months of 2022.”
She added, “The outcomes of the census will help improve the UAE’s performance and rating in international industrial reports and indicators. In 2021, the UAE ranked the first in the Arab region and 19th globally in the investment in emerging technologies indicator, according to the Global Talent Competitiveness Index report, published by INSEAD, the business school for the world. It also scored first regionally and 19th globally in the per capita manufacturing exports indicator, according to the Competitive Industrial Performance Index 2022 by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). Moreover, as per the labour force survey conducted by FCSC in 2021, the industrial sector employs 28.3 percent of local and resident workers in the UAE.”