Industry contributes a projected Dh197 billion to UAE GDP in 2023

UAE achieves 30% of Operation 300 billion’s target since its 2021 launch


Somshankar Bandyopadhyay

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Workers at Emirates Steel Arkan. — File photo
Workers at Emirates Steel Arkan. — File photo

Published: Wed 17 Jan 2024, 6:54 PM

Last updated: Wed 17 Jan 2024, 6:55 PM

The industrial sector contributed Dh197 billion in 2023, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology announced on Wednesday.

Since the launch of Operation 300Bn in 2021, industrial exports grew by 17 per cent, with the sector recording a seven per cent growth in productivity. Last year, the UAE completed 30 per cent of the Operation 300Bn target, data showed.

The ministry also activated import substitution projects worth Dh9.3 billion. In 2023, the UAE ranked first regionally and 29th globally in the competitive industrial performance index, released by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

The ministry’s achievements were driven by four main pillars, including: providing a business-friendly environment that supports the growth and attractiveness of UAE companies; boosting in-country value in the industrial sector; accelerating technological transformation to support productivity and competitiveness; and promoting sustainability. The pillars align with the objectives of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, Operation 300 Bn.

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, said: “We aim to achieve sustainable economic development by amplifying efforts and building a robust industrial sector, supported by an integrated legislative and regulatory system. The ministry continues to leverage advanced technology solutions to increase the industrial sector’s competitiveness and contribution to GDP.”

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology.
Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology.

The ministry, in collaboration with its strategic partners EDB, Mashreq Bank and FAB, provided the industrial sector with competitive financing solutions totalling Dh5.3 billion, marking a 70 per cent growth from 2022. SMEs secured 90 per cent of the financing provided under the initiative, which aims to enhance industrial companies’ capacity for growth and competitiveness. In addition, the ministry secured credit solutions amounting to Dh1.4 billion in 2023 through Etihad Credit Insurance. Further, the ministry facilitated Dh3.3 billion in industrial investments in future industries like biotechnology, hydrogen, and electric vehicles.

Al Jaber said: “Supporting the localisation of supply chains, the National ICV Programme achieved 17 per cent growth in local expenditure YoY, reaching Dh61 billion. Additionally, 28 per cent of the total value of the local procurement deals announced in the Make it in the Emirates Forum have been secured, which amounts to Dh31 billion.”

As part of its efforts to drive Emiratisation in the industrial sector, the ministry employed more than 7,000 UAE nationals. Additionally, the Industrialists Programme was introduced in 2023 to empower Emiratis, connecting jobseekers with industrial companies and provided 500 jobs in its first launch.

Al Jaber pointed to the ministry’s announcement of the industrial decarbonisation roadmap, which targets a 93 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by the year 2050. The roadmap was announced during the ministry’s participation at COP28, hosted by the UAE at the end of 2023.

“The achievements witnessed in the national industrial sector confirm that it is on the right path and aligned with the leadership’s vision. The sector continues to be a key engine of the UAE’s sustainable economic growth, supporting local production, empowering talent, and providing opportunities for business expansion to investors, enabling them to promote their products, and access key global markets.”

Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology.
Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology.

Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, said: “The ministry has accomplished many key achievements in 2023, supporting the growth of the national industrial sector. These achievements have helped boost productivity, competitiveness, and investment attractiveness, particularly in strategic industries and priority sectors. Some of these achievements were the result of several new programmes and initiatives promoting technology transformation in the industrial sector, which boosted the competitiveness of the UAE in various global indicators. The country ranked first regionally and climbed five positions globally in the United Nations Frontier Technologies Readiness Index.”

As part of its efforts to accelerate the adoption of innovative technologies in industry, the ministry launched the Industrial Technology Transformation Index (ITTI) in 2023. A cornerstone of Operation 300 billion, the index evaluated and developed technology roadmaps to 153 companies. The assessments resulted in an increase in the number of companies implementing sustainability practices to reach 70 per cent. Additionally, the percentage of companies adopting Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) solutions is 32 per cent. The initiative led to the creation of 360 high-technology jobs, with assessed companies investing an estimated Dh600 million in technology.

In line with the goals of Operation 300 billion, which aims to foster business environment that supports growth and competitiveness, MoIAT continued to offer new incentives, financial solutions, and flexible legislative frameworks in 2023.

Among these initiatives was the issuance of new laws on the regulation and development of industry. Additionally, Dh5.3 billion of new financial solutions were provided, marking a 70 per cent increase compared to 2022. Furthermore, industrial service fees were reduced by 52 per cent in 2023 compared to 2022, equivalent to Dh29.5 million.

National In-Country Value Programme

The value spent by National ICV entities on local products and services increased by 17 per cent to Dh61 billion, while the value of green offtake opportunities reached Dh200 million. The programme also saw a growth in the number of participants from government entities and major business institutions, bringing the total number of National ICV partners to 28.

The number of National ICV-certified companies increased to 5,500, representing a growth of 22 per cent compared to 2022. The programme contributed to an 80 per cent increase in the number of Emiratis employed in certified companies from approximately 9,000 in 2022 to approximately 16,000 in 2023.

The ministry also saw progress in the industrial partnership with Egypt, Jordan, and Bahrain, aiming to drive the sustainable growth of the industrial sector. This initiative supports efforts to achieve self-sufficiency, as well as food and health security, while integrating value chains of priority and vital industries. The partnership also seeks to strengthen the role of the private sector in national economies and create new employment opportunities. By the end of 2023, the joint industrial investments projects launched under the partnership reached $3.3 billion.

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