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Start your green engines to drive growth, UAE urges

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on September 4, 2020 | Last updated on September 4, 2020 at 09.58 pm
Dr Sultan bin Ahmad Al Jaber addressing the opening day of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit on Friday.

(Supplied photo)

Use of innovation to help nations face challenges, spur sustainable progress

The UAE was early to recognise the potential of technology to enhance industrial development, which has paved the way to prepare itself for the challenges ahead and drive sustainable economic growth, said Dr Sultan bin Ahmad Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology.

"By embracing technology, we will also nurture a knowledge-based economy and create an ecosystem that supports and creates sustainable jobs," Dr Al Jaber said at the third Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), which kicked off on Friday. The two-day event is being held virtually.

"We will unlock greater value from sectors where we have existing strengths, including energy, petrochemicals, metals and logistics. We will target sectors that strengthen our self-sufficiency, including water and food and agriculture. And we will create value in new high growth sectors like biotech, health, and pharma," he added.

The UAE has always been at the forefront of harnessing innovation. Dr Al Jaber cited the recently-created Ministry for Industry and Advanced Technology as an example of how the country is leveraging technology to achieve progress.

Covid has also pushed countries to build buffers into their inventories, reinforce their resilience and embrace the innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), he added.

United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres also led calls to place advanced technologies at the heart of the global recovery from Covid in a speech.

"The world's reliance on manufactured products can be seen clearly through the shortage of critical supplies and disruptions in global value chains," he said.

"Yet we have also witnessed a leap in digitisation for learning, working and connecting with others. Technology has the potential to restore business, improve industrial efficiency and safety, and fortify critical infrastructure. Digital technologies must not increase the risk of unemployment for women or worsen economic and other inequalities."

'Power' play

Ministers from the UAE, the Russian Federation and Indonesia, meanwhile, discussed efforts to diversify their economies and shift towards a green economy.

Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said the nation took a long-term approach to energy planning and tackling climate change, with green energy expected to provide half the country's energy by 2050.

"In 2017 we looked at our options from energy sources and we looked at the targets and how we can make our cities among the world's most liveable in the future," he said. "And by 2050, we plan to shift from 100 per cent reliance on natural gas in 2017 to produce 50 per cent from green forms of energy."

Solar will become the dominant contributor in the UAE energy mix with a 44 percent share which will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 70 per cent and produce savings of $190 billion versus natural gas. The UAE is also the first country in the Middle East to develop nuclear power, with the first of four reactors at the Barakah nuclear power now online. Nuclear will provide 24 per cent of the country's power when all four reactors are eventually commissioned.

The GMIS also tackled key issues such as making reliable yet affordable Internet to all, and also held a workshop to promote a gender-responsive and inclusive manufacturing sector.
Dr Al Jaber concluded by sending an open invitation for cooperation.

"In fact, throughout the UAE's history, the spirit of partnership has defined our approach to providing positive solutions to global challenges, and the UAE is more than ready to play its part as a constructive partner to all who wish to work with us," the minister said.

- business@khaleejtimes.com


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