ABU DHABI, 16th February, 2022 (WAM) — The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) has successfully overseen a historic rise in industrial exports from the UAE to foreign markets, which amounted to approximately AED120 billion (US$32.6 billion) in 2021. This coincided with a major surge in factories commencing production in 2021, with 220 new facilities going into service. Also, the National In-Country Value (ICV) Programme, launched to redirect spending by public entities and major companies under its umbrella to the UAE economy, has succeeded in circulating AED41.4 billion (US$11.5 billion) back into the local market, further promoting local companies.
Collectively, these factors have helped the UAE achieve a quantum leap in the Competitive Industrial Performance Index issued annually by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), rising five places globally from 35th to 30th in 2021.
MoIAT has been responsible for implementing the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology since its launch by the UAE government in Q1 2021. The results confirm major advances in the national industrial sector, especially in terms of productivity, efficiency and competitiveness. This has been attained through accelerating its transformation by integrating advanced technologies and providing financial incentives and solutions through the Emirates Development Bank (EDB), the strategy’s financial enabler, alongside other facilities and initiatives.
Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, said, “In line with the leadership’s directives, MoIAT has achieved several outstanding results within one year of its establishment, which supported the growth of the UAE’s industrial sector by contributing to its capabilities, competitiveness, and attractiveness.”
Dr. Al Jaber added that the results observed in 2021 reflect the UAE industrial sector’s quantum leap in exports, which totaled around AED120 billion – a historic milestone for the industrial sector. This overlapped with the UAE advancing five ranks globally in UNIDO’s 2021 Competitive Industrial Performance Index.
Dr. Al Jaber continued, “The UAE industrial sector witnessed a surge in its number of factories, with 220 new factories licensed in 2021. Moreover, 45 public entities and 13 major national institutions and companies joined the National ICV Programme. In addition to redirecting more than AED41 billion into the national economy during 2021, it also aided responding to the increasing demand for efficient and competitive supply chains, the creation of 1,000 high-quality job opportunities for nationals, and the establishment of training programmes to upskill Emiratis. Furthermore, 300 new suppliers obtained the ICV certificate, bringing the total number of certified companies to 5,300.” “We announced EDB’s strategy, the financial enabler of MoIAT’s strategy. A competitive financing initiative worth AED10 billion (US$2.7 billion) was also launched for priority sectors, AED5 billion of which is to help deploy advanced technology in the industrial sector, and another AED5 billion (US$1.36 billion) to support the UAE’s projects in priority sectors,” he added.
For her part, Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, said, “2021 witnessed a number of major initiatives and projects which aim to stimulate innovation in the industrial sector and accelerate the adoption of advanced technology, including the UAE Industry 4.0 programme and the advanced technology financing programme launched in partnership with the Emirates Development Bank.
“The ministry also signed and activated 12 MoUs with leading local and international companies to establish the Champions 4.0 Network and three MoUs with the economic departments of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ajman to support the adoption of 4IR technologies,” she added. “In addition, we entered into a strategic partnership with Siemens to support the digital transformation of the industrial sector, and signed an MoU with Spain to enhance cooperation in science and technology.”
Al Amiri noted that the past year also witnessed a number of decisions supporting the performance of the UAE’s industrial sector, such as the establishment of the Emirates Research and Development Council and the launch of the second session of the Mohammed bin Rashid Academy of Scientists.
“As part of the UAE Industry 4.0 programme, the first edition of the Leaders 4.0 initiative was also developed in cooperation with the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, with the aim of training 100 CEOs and leaders from the industrial sector by 2022. The first cohort included 30 participants from the industrial sector,” she added.
National In-Country Value Programme The National In-Country Value Programme was announced as part of “Projects of the 50” and aims to contribute to the growth of national industries and enhance their competitiveness. To coordinate these efforts, a national committee for the management and governance of the programme was formed, and the programme began to apply to federal government procurements in December 2021.
Industries of the Future Technological solutions and Fourth Industrial Revolution applications were a key focus for the Ministry in 2021. The Fourth Industrial Revolution Programme (UAE Industry 4.0), the region’s first integrated programme to support manufacturers in the adoption of 4IR technologies, was launched, and was accompanied by initiatives such as the Smart Industry Readiness Index, the Champions 4.0 Network of 12 national and international companies, and the Leadership 4.0 initiative, which will train more than 100 CEOs and leaders in the industrial sector.
The Ministry signed memoranda of understanding with a number of international companies to promote the deployment of advanced technology, as well as with the governments of Spain, France and Israel.
The Ministry has sought to improve the national R&D ecosystem. In September 2021, the Cabinet approved the research and development governance policy, while the Emirates Research and Development Council was also established, chaired by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
In partnership with the Emirates Development Bank, the Ministry launched an AED5 billion financing programme for the next five years, to support projects aimed at accelerating advanced technology adoption. During 2021, AED248 million (US$67.5 million) was granted to finance such projects.
Internationally, the Ministry’s leading role in advanced technology was highlighted through its organisation of the second Islamic Summit on Science and Technology, which was attended by 57 countries and resulted in the adoption of the Abu Dhabi Declaration. The UAE also joined as an observer member of the International Center for Synchrotron Beam.
The Quality Infrastructure The Standardisation and Regulations Sector in the Ministry achieved many goals during 2021, including the adoption of 616 specifications and technical regulations compatible with the best international and regional specifications in priority sectors, with another 75 specifications and regulations under approval. Efforts also included the adoption of specifications in sectors like vehicles, advanced technology, novel food, and sustainable management of hydroponics.
The Ministry also reviewed the food labeling policy, which resulted in the Cabinet approving amendments to the procedures for implementing the policy on labeling nutritional values for food products. The amendments seek to reduce the cost of implementing technical specifications, saving food and beverage manufacturers approximately AED1.4 billion over the coming five years.
Internationally, the UAE’s invitation to host the meetings of the General Assembly of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 2022 in Abu Dhabi has been accepted. The Ministry also won membership of the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC), in addition to the membership of both Standardisation Management Council (SMC) and Management of Accreditation Council (MAC) in OIC’s Standards and Metrology Institute 2022-2024 session.
The Ministry also operates the Emirates National Accreditation System (ENAS), which is responsible for supporting the sectors related to the various quality infrastructure activities in the country. In 2021, the System oversaw a 64.5 percent increase in the number of Conformity Assessment Bodies registered in the country from 2020, and a 43.3 percent increase in the number of Halal Certification Bodies registered. The scope of accreditation of Biogenix Lab – a unit of G42 – has also been expanded in genome tests that are done as part of the Emirati Genome project.