Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, inaugurated the second edition of the Make it in the Emirates Forum yesterday (May 31), which is being held under the theme of ‘Investment. Sustainability. Growth’.
The two-day Make it in the Emirates is a one-of-its-kind forum, organized by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and Adnoc, a trusted and responsible provider of low-carbon energy.
The Make it in the Emirates Forum convenes local and international industrial companies, government entities, financial institutions, and investors.
During his address to one of the region’s most prominent industry events, Dr Al Jaber announced an additional AED10 billion ($2.72 billion) of offtake agreements in the UAE’s industrial sector, building on the previous forum’s AED110 billion worth of procurement opportunities, taking the total value of products targeted for localization to AED120 billion.
“One of the key achievements of last year’s forum was several leading national companies announcing their intention to invest AED110 billion over the next decade to purchase 300 products from local manufacturers,” Dr Al Jaber said.
“I am pleased to share with you that in the first year alone, 28 percent of these offtake agreements have been implemented, representing a total value of AED31 billion.”
He also announced more than 30 innovative industrial projects worth more than AED6 billion: “These projects include pioneering initiatives such as setting up the first hydrogen electrolyser plant in the UAE.”
Adnoc will also allocate over AED20 billion for the purchase of structures and metal products from national companies, the forum heard. It was also announced that MoIAT will adopt a new standard within the National In-Country Value Program called Green ICV, to encourage sustainability practices and motivate companies to reduce emissions.
He noted that during the forum, competitive financing solutions will be announced for the industrial sector, including AED5 billion from First Abu Dhabi Bank and AED 1 billion from Mashreq Bank.
Dr Al Jaber also announced the provision of 5,000 sustainable job opportunities for UAE nationals in the industrial sector through the Industrialist Program that has been supported by Nafis and the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratization.
Taking place in the in the run-up to COP28, the Make it in the Emirates Forum focuses on sustainable industrial development, decarbonization and increasing the industrial sector’s contribution to climate action.
Dr Al Jaber said: “[The UAE] will host COP28 with a great sense of responsibility and a full appreciation of its gravity. During the climate conference, we will work to achieve transformation progress in climate action, focusing on finding practical and realistic solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change, especially in the Global South. COP28 will focus on inclusion, joining forces, and forging partnerships rather than driving division.”
Noting the industrial sector is set to play a crucial role in emissions reduction as it is responsible for approximately 20 percent of global carbon emissions, according to World Economic Forum's report, Dr Al Jaber said: “It is our sector's paramount responsibility to demonstrate the feasibility of working concurrently towards two objectives: reducing emissions and achieving sustainable growth.”
He added: “With this in mind, this year's forum is centred around bolstering sustainable practices, and promoting the adoption of clean energy solutions within the industrial sector.”
The Make it in the Emirates Forum also provides a vital platform for corporations and government to explore the competitive advantages available in the UAE, such as incentives, enablers, financing, and partnerships, contributing to the country’s transformation to become a global industrial hub.
Dr Al Jaber said: “In line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology focuses on establishing an integrated legislative and regulatory system that leverages the UAE's competitive advantages.
“In doing so, we aim to foster the growth and sustainability of the industrial sector. And we aim to achieve self-sufficiency in manufacturing essential products, as well as localize vital industries, especially those related to food and medical security.”
Dr Al Jaber expressed gratitude for the valuable support of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of the Presidential Court. He also acknowledged His Highness’s guidance in prioritizing the development of strategies to foster the growth of the industrial sector, enhance its GDP contribution, and promote economic diversification.
He emphasized the leadership's strong commitment to bolstering the strategic role of the industrial sector within sustainable development plans. He highlighted the significant efforts made by His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, who launched the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy, which aims to double the size of the manufacturing sector in the emirate to AED172 billion by 2031.
UAE industry booming
Dr Al Jaber said: “In pursuit of our leadership's goals, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology introduced the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, which has several key objectives. These include: supporting our national development by capitalizing on the UAE's competitive advantages and introducing attractive incentives that attract investments; promoting local products; accelerating the expansion of the industrial sector; driving innovation and sustainable technological transformations; and increasing the industrial sector's contribution to national GDP to more than AED300 billion by 2031.”
He noted the milestones already achieved by Operation 300 billion. Under the strategy, the value of the UAE’s industrial exports reached AED175 billion in 2022, compared to AED117 billion in 2020, representing 49 percent growth. The industrial sector's contribution to GDP increased from AED132 billion in 2020 to AED182 billion in 2022, representing 38 percent growth.
In collaboration with the Emirates Development Bank, the ministry offered financing solutions worth AED 3 billion to support and enable the Make it in the Emirates initiative. The ministry also launched the Technological Transformation Program to accelerate the adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies and contribute to lower emission goals.
His Excellency stressed the value of the opportunities offered by the forum, which lead to tangible, result-driven outcomes. He noted the example of the Integrated Industrial Partnership for Sustainable Economic Development launched between the UAE, Egypt, Jordan and Bahrain. Recently, agreements have been announced for 9 comprehensive industrial projects under the partnership, attracting investments exceeding $2 billion.
His Excellency also noted the success of MoIAT’s National In-Country Value Program, which redirected AED 53 billion into the national economy in 2022, 25 percent more than the previous year, anticipating more entities to join the program, which will further enhance growth opportunities for local manufacturers.
Empowering the industrial sector
Dr Al Jaber said: “Through issuing Federal Decree-Law No. 25 of 2022 to enhance the UAE’s industrial competitiveness and investment attractiveness, the ministry has streamlined processes, including lowering fees and developing programs that support and enable innovation, entrepreneurship, and SMEs. It has also facilitated access for our manufacturers to export markets representing more than 2.5 billion consumers, as part of a collaboration with our partners in the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Finance, and various economic departments.
“The Make it in the Emirates Forum, which launched last year, has proven instrumental in transforming uncertainties – arising from geopolitical tensions, as well as economic, health, and logistical challenges – into opportunities for sustainable development. Moreover, it has reinforced the self-sufficiency and localization of vital industrial sectors.”
Made in the Emirates
Dr Al Jaber also announced the launch of the Made in the Emirates brand, a national emblem that brings numerous advantages and opportunities to the companies that earn it.
“This brand will be promoted as a symbol of the quality of Emirati products, and their adherence to the highest international standards,” he said.
He added: “I invite all attendees and participants to explore through this forum the incentives and enablers provided by various economic development departments, industrial and special zones, financing institutions, and national companies.” – TradeArabia News Service