Dubai: The UAE is well positioned to push forward with a competitive industrial sector due to its geographical location, advanced logistics capabilities, a ‘world-class’ infrastructure in addition to its reputation as a credible economic player, a UAE minister said.
Announcing the details of ‘Operation 300bn’ – announced by the Government to raise the industrial sector’s profile – Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology said the strategy is “a national comprehensive and integrated project” aimed at raising the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP from the current Dh133 billion to Dh300 billion by 2031.
The strategy was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Sheikh Mohammed said the strategy will support the setting up of 13,500 industrial companies and help increase spending on research and development in the industrial sector from Dh21 billion to Dh57 billion.
“The industrial strategy will achieve a giant leap in the UAE’s industrial sector to become the main driving force of the national economy and lead the journey of our next 50 years with greater confidence and speed,” Sheikh Mohammed noted as he announced ‘Operation 300bn’ on March 22.
A ‘new page’
“We are extremely excited to begin a new page that will consolidate the UAE’s role as a leader and pioneer in the advance industries sector,” Al Jaber said. The 10-year strategy will focus on current and future industries, such as food, pharmaceutical, aluminium, petrochemical, space technology, hydrogen and renewable energy, and medical and home appliances.
The minister said that ahead of the launch of the strategy, the ministry worked closely with all parties concerned with the industrial sector. “We conducted at least 200 meetings, 40 specialised workshops and 10 surveys to come up with a realistic strategy aimed to build on our competitive advantages.
“In the UAE, we already enjoy competitive advantages such as the geographical location, our logistics networks, air and seaports, an advanced infrastructure, a regional hub for energy services, a state-of-the-art digital infrastructure and artificial intelligence solutions, flexible laws and legislations in addition to the exemplary social environment.”
To boost these advantages, the industrial strategy will focus on three elements to realise its goals.
* First, he said, will involve updating the industry laws to facilitate ownership and foreign investment in this sector.
* Second, facilitate financing through the Emirates Development Bank.
* And third, offer competitive gas and energy tariffs.
The Bank will have new wide-ranging services that will be integrated with the industrial strategy aimed at financing not only the current industrial enterprises but also new ones, including small and medium business and entrepreneurs, Al Jaber said.
“The strategy is aimed at creating a strong economy based on competitiveness and innovation. Therefore, the ‘Make it in the UAE’ is an open invitation to all investors, UAE citizens, UAE residents and foreign investors to come here and work in a very attractive environment.”