‘Make it in the Emirates’ set to add Dh6b annually to economy

Two-day forum kicks off with participation of 1,300 investment entities

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By Staff Report

Published: Tue 21 Jun 2022, 7:37 PM

Last updated: Tue 21 Jun 2022, 7:54 PM

Major industry players welcomed the inaugural ‘Make it in the Emirates’ forum and said the initiative will further strengthen manufacturing base and benefit the UAE economy by adding at least Dh6 billion annually to the gross domestic product.

The two-day forum, which began on Tuesday with major announcements from leading Abu Dhabi-based groups, discussed opportunities for partnership and cooperation in the industrial sector to reduce dependence on imported products and promote local economy. It attracted a large number of local and international industrial companies, government entities, financing institutions, and investors.

About 12 of the country’s leading companies identified more than 300 products across 11 sectors to be manufactured locally. They committed Dh110 billion in potential purchase agreements for local manufacturers.

Tawazun injects Dh2b

Tawazun Economic Council injects Dh2 billion annually as an added value to the national economy, said Tareq Abdulraheem Al Hosani, chief executive officer of Tawazun.

While addressing a panel discussion on first day of the forum, he said Tawazun will inject this amount through its Tawazun Economic Programme.

“As the procurement arm for the UAE Armed Forces, Abu Dhabi Police and National Security agencies, we are one of the biggest buying entities in the country. We are also looking at how we capitalise on existing raw materials that are produced in the UAE and how to use them not only for local manufacturing but also for products that will eventually hit the UAE market, to make sure that raw material that is used is also coming from the UAE,” Al Hosani said.

Al Hosani noted that Tawazun has been championing investments in the defence sector for the last 30 years and “there has been a lot of learning and improvement to our strategies, as to how we do things over that time”.

“We are focusing our strategy on how to support SMEs in terms of upskilling and certification, allowing them to have better quality products. At the same time, we are looking to our larger international partners to have their own landed companies and direct foreign investment to help us upskill our SMEs and integrate them into their own supply chains,” he said.

EGA empowers industrial growth

Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the UAE outside of oil and gas, participated in the forum with a commitment to increase its contribution to the economy.

Abdulnasser bin Kalban, CEO of Emirates Global Aluminium, said Emirates Global Aluminium is the largest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas and “we are at the heart of one of the most significant economic sectors” in the country.

“We are committed to doubling our absolute contribution to the national economy by 2040, and one way we will do this is by increasing local procurement,” he said.

EGA’s aluminium is the largest made-in-the UAE export after oil and gas and is shipped to more than 50 countries worldwide. EGA sells around 10 per cent of its metal production in the UAE, to 26 local companies that make everything from car parts to window frames for local industries and export around the world.

“We already spend some $1.6 billion each year in the UAE supply chain. The Ministry of Industry & Advanced Technology’s In-Country Value programme, and events like the Make it in the Emirates Forum, will help us increase that further,” Bin Kalban said.

Emirates Steel showcases new products

Emirates Steel Arkan also highlighted its contribution to the country’s industrial output and showcased new products, including the recently introduced ES600 rebar, at the first of its kind forum in the UAE.

“Emirates Steel Arkan is making significant contributions to the UAE’s industrial sector and accounted for more than 12 per cent of the Abu Dhabi’s industrial output during 2021. In the same year, the Group expanded its export markets to 56 countries in 2021 compared to 38 countries in 2019 as part of its support for the “Make it in the Emirates” brand,” said Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi, group CEO of Emirates Steel Arkan.

“The forum’s focus on future industries that rely on advanced technology, the fourth industrial revolution solutions and replacement technologies will allow us to showcase our innovative products, including ES600 rebar, a new lightweight and sustainable product that will set new standards in the construction industry,” he said.

The forum, under the theme of ‘Invest, Partner, Grow’, provides an important platform for presenting local investment opportunities in the national industrial sector and boost it, which is a key enabler of the UAE’s economic diversification efforts.

More than 1,300 representatives from investment firms, financial institutions, national companies and public sector entities participate in the forum, with more than 20 key stakeholders speaking on topics including industrial growth strategies.

First day agenda

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 Program 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 focus

Wednesday'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 Program has redirected Dh41.4 billion to the national economy. UAE industrial exports set a new record, increasing to Dh116 billion, compared to Dh82 billion two years ago. The industrial sector’s contribution to the GDP reached more than Dh150 billion at the end of 2021.

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com

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