ABU DHABI, 21st June, 2022 (WAM) — The Make in the Emirates Forum, a first of its kind forum and one of the latest initiatives of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), was launched today in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.
The two-day event features the participation of major local industrial companies’ financial institutions, government agencies and financial institutions in the UAE.
The forum was inaugurated by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, in the presence of Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology; Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State; Muhammad Ali Al Shurafa, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED); Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori, CEO of Emirates Investment Authority; Musabbeh Al Kaabi, CEO of Mubadala’s UAE Investments platform; Faisal Al Bannai, Executive Chairman of EDGE Group Board of Directors; Tareq Abdulraheem Al Hosani, CEO of Tawazun Economic Council; Omar Al Futtaim, Vice Chairman & CEO of Al-Futtaim Group; Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, Managing Director and CEO of ADQ; Sharif Al Olama, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure for Energy and Petroleum Affairs; Yusuff Ali Musaliam, Chairman of Lulu Group; Khadim Abdulla Aldarei, Vice Chairman and Co. Founder of Al Dahra Holding; Abdulla Nasser Hawaileel Al-Mansoori, Chairman, AL Nasser Holdings; Mohammed Essa al Ghurair, Vice Chairman, Essa Al Ghurair Investment; Masaood Ahmed Al Masaood, Chairman of the Al Masaood Group; Hamid bin Salem, Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce; Hana Al Rostamani, Group CEO of First Abu Dhabi Bank; Rola Abu Manneh, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank UAE; Ahmad Hamad Bin Fahad Al Muhairi, CEO of Dubal Holdings; along with industry leaders and public and private sector companies.
The forum, which includes panels and exhibitions, aims to promote the growth of national industries and discuss opportunities for partnership and cooperation in the industrial sector, in addition to presenting opportunities for product localisation, redirect the value of purchases into the national economy, and benefit from local purchasing power to develop the industrial sector.
Twelve national companies are presenting more than 300 products across 11 sectors for local production and procurement, supporting the UAE efforts to become a center for global industries.
The national companies, including 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, announced the provision of AED 110 billion of potential purchase agreements to existing and new partners.
The eleven sectors include metals, petrochemicals, chemical industries, plastics, machinery and equipment, defense industries, pharmaceutical industries, technology and medical equipment, communications, and agricultural technology. The over 300 new products introduced for local production will contribute over AED 6 billion to the national GDP annually.
Localising these products is also expected to attract investments, promote the industrial sector and advanced technology, diversify the economy, enhance economic growth and sustainability, create new job opportunities and fortify supply chains.
Over 1,300 delegates attended the event, including representatives from leading national companies, manufacturers and investors with over 20 panel speakers, comprising CEOs of major industrial companies, as well as high level representatives from the public and private sector.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber noted that the Ministry focuses on implementing the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to “double our efforts, prepare for the future, contribute to our national economic diversification efforts and leverage the competitive advantages of the UAE in order to build a robust industrial sector that promotes self-sufficiency and increases local production”.
He added, “The Ministry is also guided by the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who has said that the UAE, with its strong will, resources, capabilities and effective policies, is capable of building a global economic base, and that, by achieving self-sufficiency in a number of vital industries to enhance the resilience of our economy in the face of global crises, we will safeguard the UAE from global economic challenges.”
Dr. Al Jaber explained, “The COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical challenges have disrupted 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 essential to ensuring business continuity and economic growth, is critical.
“The UAE enjoys many competitive advantages, the most important of which is the wisdom and support of leadership that is always looking to the future with a positive outlook, providing and focusing on ensuring stability, and has given directives for a flexible and encouraging environment to achieve our objectives.”
“We also enjoy highly skilled human resources, energy resources, raw materials, a strategic geographic location, advanced infrastructure, transparent laws, reliability and credibility, competitive financing, an ideal quality of life in a diverse, tolerant and secure society, strategic economic 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 added.
Dr. Al Jaber urged companies to take advantage of the forum, highlighting that large companies are sharing their plans and visions “including their current product procurement plans, their future demand for various products, materials and services as well as their commitment to allocate part of that procurement to local suppliers in an effort to develop their existing industries and create new ones in the UAE and achieve economic value”.
He said, “The national industrial strategy was created in close consultation and collaboration with all relevant parties, including the industrial sector, government sector, private sector, investors and financial institutions through workshops and transparent dialogue, as well as through regional and international benchmarking.”
Dr. Al Jaber added, “The Ministry seeks to contribute to safeguarding our achievements, benefiting from the regulatory and legislative ecosystem that stimulates industrial investments in the country, creating commercially viable opportunities for the growth of the industrial sector, supporting local products, reducing dependence on imports, and empowering our economy by increasing the industrial sector contribution to the GDP to AED300bn by 2031.”
He highlighted the achievements of the Ministry to date, explaining that “the ministry launched the National In-Country Value programme, which aims to redirect the largest amount of purchases by major companies and government agencies to the local economy and prioritises suppliers who invest in and manufacture products and services locally; incentivising them with financing solutions”.
Currently, the programme is being implemented by 45 government agencies and 6 leading national companies, with the participation of 5,500 local industrial companies. During its first year, the programme has succeeded in redirecting more than AED 40 billion to the national economy.
Muhammad Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of ADDED, said, “Under the leadership’s vision, the UAE has achieved sustainable economic development based on a foundation of human development, economic openness, and commitment to economic diversification. The industrial sector is one of the main drivers behind these efforts.”
He continued, “Abu Dhabi has laid solid foundations for the development of the industrial sector. It has invested more than AED 51 billion (US$13.8 billion) to strengthen emirate’s industrial infrastructure, and has developed an integrated system comprising policies, incentives and financing. Together, this investment and system have contributed to supporting the sector to become the greatest non-oil contributor to the emirate’s GDP. Last year, the industrial sector contributed AED 83.5 billion to Abu Dhabi’s GDP, reflecting the success of our combined efforts. The sector grew by 21.7 percent last year, which is one of the highest growth rates of any sector in the emirate and the region, underlining the strong performance of industrial companies in Abu Dhabi.”
Al Shorafa added, “The Make in the Emirates Forum showcases opportunities for local and international stakeholders to develop their organisations by leveraging the UAE’s competitive advantages with the aim of empowering the national industrial sector. The forum also sheds light on the UAE’s attractive investment environment, as well as opportunities and incentives in the industrial sector. In addition, the forum introduces the expected demand for products and services of leading national companies over the next decade and showcases industrial success stories. The forum also highlights purchasing and manufacturing opportunities for stakeholders to participate in production.
“In this context, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development has launched several programmes to support the industrial sector and enhance its competitiveness, such as the Abu Dhabi Local Content Program (ADLC) and the Electric Tariff Incentive Program (ETIP) along with initiatives to improve the sector’s financing environment. The Electric Tariff Incentive Programme contributed to increasing the productivity of participating facilities by 14 percent and return on investment by 25 percent. We also expanded the programme’s scope to include small and medium-sized companies operating in the sector.”
The incentives include financing 80 percent of capital expenditures at low interest rates, with grace periods of two years, and a repayment period of up to 15 years. The incentives also include facilitating access to financing sources, such as soft loans, trade finance and credit solutions to support exports by the Abu Dhabi Export Support Office and the Export Credit Union.
Other enabling factors introduced at the forum include discounts on land and office rental at KIZAD, and up to an 18 month grace period on land rentals at Tawazun Industrial City.
Participating financial institutions and banks include: Emirates Development Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Etihad Credit Insurance, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, and Standard Chartered.
The agenda of the first day of the forum featured several panel sessions on the UAE’s industrial sector, including ‘Features of Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy’, ‘Why Make it in the UAE?’, ‘Industrial Opportunities: Building Resilience’, ‘Industrial Growth’ and ‘The Maker’s Prospective’.
The Forum also featured an exhibition highlighting opportunities and incentives provided by 24 national entities who briefed delegates on national success stories and their expansion plans.
TAQA delivered a presentation on investment in infrastructure for a sustainable future, while ADNOC delivered a presentation on industrial opportunities related to drilling products. Abu Dhabi Ports gave a presentation on industrial growth opportunities in Abu Dhabi, while Borouge Company gave a presentation on value chain opportunities. Nafis Programme gave a presentation on Emiratisation, and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation made a presentation on the opportunities in the UAE peaceful nuclear energy program’s supply chain. There were also presentations by Emirates Steel, Arkan and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.
The Second Day
Tomorrow’s agenda includes a number of presentations on different topics, such as industrial opportunities related to mechanical products and air conditioners, pipes, fittings and valves, electrical products, control and communications, and technology products. There will also be presentations by Pure Health, Etihad Airways, Emirates Global Aluminium, EDGE Group, Baker Hughes and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.
Industry in the UAE
Since the launch of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, there has been some significant progress. The National In-Country Value Programme has redirected AED 41.4 billion to the national economy. UAE industrial exports set a new record, increasing to AED 116 billion, compared to AED 82 billion two years ago. The industrial sector’s contribution to the GDP reached more than AED 150 billion at the end of 2021.