Raising the bar

Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary, UAE Ministry of Industryand Advanced Technology
Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary, UAE Ministry of Industryand Advanced Technology

The key objective of the program is to nurture and develop new industries within the UAE and stimulate foreign investment in line with the nation’s goals of diversification

ADNOC currently supplies over two-thirds of the UAE’s industrial energy needs, supporting and enabling the growth of local industries.
ADNOC currently supplies over two-thirds of the UAE’s industrial energy needs, supporting and enabling the growth of local industries.

Published: Thu 27 Jan 2022, 9:00 AM

Building on from its earlier success in 2017, the In-Country Value Program (ICV) has now been relaunched at the federal level in line with the ‘Projects of the 50’, achieving great success, for the UAE. Early achievements include redirecting Dh88 billion into the UAE’s industrial sector and creating 2,000 jobs for Emiratis, but the program has since been expanded and developed to scale these benefits across the economy.

In September, the program was named among the UAE’s ‘Projects of the 50’ and placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT). The move has further contributed to increased demand for local goods and services and has promoted local capabilities, while attracting foreign direct investment in the UAE’s industrial sector.

In early December, the National Committee for the National In-Country Value Program, formed by the UAE Cabinet, held an inaugural meeting to discuss the development of detailed criteria and guidelines for its implementation at the federal level. The meeting examined how large national companies could respond to the program.

The committee, which includes the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), several federal and local authorities, and national companies, reviewed the program’s developments and key performance indicators for the year to date.

Chaired by Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of MoIAT, the committee also appointed a technical committee evaluate the economic and industrial impact of companies that recently joined the program. It discussed proposing new incentives, benefits and opportunities to encourage more companies to seek ICV certification, while proposing awareness-raising workshops in cooperation with its members, and considered ways to stimulate the adoption of advanced technology.

“Launching the National ICV program among the ‘Projects of the 50’ falls in line with the strategic goals of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology. These goals encompass empowering and incentivising the UAE’s industrial sector, improving its performance and strengthening partnerships and collaboration within the private sector. Under the program, 42 per cent of government spending will be redirected to the UAE-based companies by 2025,” said Al Suwaidi.

“The ICV program is expected to reach numerous milestones in that time, including increasing the internal demand for local products and services from Dh33 billion currently to Dh55 billion, while encouraging local manufacturers to diversify and develop their production to meet that demand. Developing their business models and production methods will also help them meet ICV certification criteria, thus enhancing their chances of partnering with global entities seeking to leverage this opportunity,” he added.

In September this year, the MoIAT signed separate memoranda of understanding (MoU) with Etisalat, Emirates Steel and TAQA, the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, as the first three large national companies joining the National ICV Program. By joining the program, the trio will now prioritise local ICV-certified suppliers above other entities bidding for commercial contracts.

The move is part of the UAE’s wider National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, which seeks to increase the national industrial sector’s contribution to GDP to Dh300bn by 2031 by supporting companies that produce goods and services in the emirates to fortify local supply chains.

As part of the country’s efforts to extend the ICV program at the federal level, the MoIAT signed MoUs with Etihad Rail, EDGE Group and Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), which became the second set of companies to commit to the program.

Al Suwaidi stressed that the new set of MoUs represent a big boost to the program following the first set signed last September. “It is a further testament to the opportunities the program offers partners and suppliers alike, which are supported by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, ADNOC and Aldar, among others.”

He noted that the National ICV Program is a key initiative that complements other initiatives aimed at developing the industrial sector. Most notable is UAE Industry 4.0, which aims to accelerate the adoption of the applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and financing solutions offered by the Emirates Development Bank and Etihad Credit Insurance.

The National ICV Program aims to support the local industrial sector and redirect public and private-sector expenditure to the local economy, specifically to UAE-based National ICV-certified suppliers.

While participation in the program is optional, certified suppliers will get priority when contracts and purchases are awarded. They will also qualify for development funding provided by the Emirates Development Bank.

The newest addition to MoIAT’s National ICV program is Tawazun Economic Council, the UAE defence and security industry and engineering and R&D programs enabler. Al Suwaidi pointed out that adding companies such as Tawazun Economic Council will enhance the program’s ability to achieve its goal of delivering comprehensive and sustainable development in the UAE’s industrial sector.

The UAE has now climbed five places in the 2021 United Nation’s Industrial Organisation’s Competitive Industrial Performance Index from its 2020 rank.

According to Al Suwaidi, the ministry has identified 21 independent companies that will issue the National ICV certificate after evaluating the value of suppliers’ domestic spending on manufacturing, products and services, the volume of investment capital in the country, spending on salaries and expenses, the volume of exports, and other aspects.

Participants will receive priority during the award of contracts and procurements. The requirements of the certificate will help develop the operations of local suppliers.

Furthermore, the program aims to achieve several other objectives, such as expanding value chains, developing new industries and services, stimulating and attracting investments, diversifying the economy, increasing GDP, and creating job opportunities in the private sector.

Certifying Bodies

The following bodies are authorised by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology to conduct a technical review on requests for In-Country Value (ICV) certification submitted by suppliers, and to issue certificates pertaining to the Ministry’s requirements:

Al Raqamiya Management Consulting Firm

ARC Associates

Ardent Advisory and Accounting LLC

Assist Plus for Accounting and Auditing Services

Bakertilly MKM Chartered Accountants


Deloitte & Touche (Middle East)

Ernst & Young

Evas International Chartered Accountants

Focus Chartered Accountants

Grant Thornton Auditing and Accounting

HLB Hamt Chartered Accountants

Hamid Al Kaabi Accounts Audit

Kreston Menon Chartered Accountants

Mayur Batra Group

Mazars Chartered Accountants

PKF - United Arab Emirates


RAI Audit

Talal Abu-Ghazaleh & Co. International

Zayed Chartered Accountant

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