‘Make it in the Emirates’ draws interest from US firms


On day one, Omar Al Suwaidi, Under-Secretary of MoIAT, delivered a keynote address on the UAE’s industrial opportunities and competitive advantages…reports Asian Lite News

A high-level delegation from the UAE presented the country’s national industrial strategy to over 200 international delegates that convened at the first US edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS America) from 28th-29th September in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Emirati experts called for enhanced cross-border collaboration to advance sustainable industrial development, enable the clean energy transition, and drive global economic growth.

As co-chair of the summit, the UAE’s Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) appealed to the international community to come together and collaborate on ways to make the industry more resilient against global market volatility and enhance productivity while boosting efforts to accelerate the global energy transition.

The UAE delegation highlighted the country’s competitive manufacturing business landscape while sharing their knowledge on ways to enhance sustainable manufacturing practices through advanced technology adoption.

On day one, Omar Al Suwaidi, Under-Secretary of MoIAT, delivered a keynote address on the UAE’s industrial opportunities and competitive advantages.

Al Suwaidi addressed the international audience, saying, “There has never been a better time to invest in the UAE’s robust industrial base. The rapid pace with which our ambitious industrial strategy is being executed, is generating significant demand for local goods and services, as well as opening new international market access. As part of this strategy, we launched the ‘Make it in the Emirates’ campaign to help supercharge industrial priority sectors and attract investments. We continue to build successful partnerships with international players who are eager to capitalise on the significant benefits and potential of establishing an industrial presence in the UAE.”

On the first day of the conference, MoIAT hosted an interactive panel discussion which presented the country’s national strategy for industry and advanced technology. The panel explored how the UAE’s ‘Make it in the Emirates’ initiative is inviting global industrialists, investors, innovators and developers to be part of the country’s industrial growth, while benefitting from incentives and support mechanisms aimed at increasing the national industrial sector’s contribution to the UAE’s GDP from AED133 billion to AED300 billion by 2031. During the MoIAT-hosted panel, the session featured key UAE industrial champions and enablers, who shared their plans for sustainable manufacturing, as well as key growth opportunities for investors.

Humaid Mohamed bin Salem, Secretary-General of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) pointed out that the UAE provides several incentives for international organisations to set based in the country. The FCCI acts as a bridge between the government and the private sector. It also supports bringing companies to the UAE and ensuring they are made aware of the incentives they can benefit from by doing business.

Bin Salem also highlighted how the UAE’s response and recovery from COVID-19 is a testament to the nation’s credibility in enabling a sustainable business environment that will allow international businesses to thrive.

Mansoor Janahi, CEO, Sanad, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company and a champion of industrial services, emphasised the importance of the US market for Sanad, given that the country represents its largest client base. He went on to highlight how the UAE is generally known as an importer of industrial services, however, Sanad has been leading the export of industrial services for the last 35 years.

Joining them on the panel, Saud Abu Al Shawareb, Managing Director of Dubai Industrial City, showcased the many benefits offered to businesses operating from the zone. He highlighted that Dubai Industrial City is working with 708 business partners to develop an enabling ecosystem which delivers a holistic supply chain. Furthermore, Abu Al Shawareb highlighted the critical focus of decarbonising the industrial sector, with Dubai Industrial City generating more than 40 MW of power from renewable energy, and having brick and mortar operations including recycling facilities that ensure waste generated is recycled within the same zone.

Ahmed Awadi, Vice President of Program Management & Business Performance at Strata, showcased some of the collaboration opportunities that are available in the UAE. Awadi made the point that in the past year, Strata has focused on building capabilities and credibility which allowed it to realign its strategy to focus on disruptive advanced manufacturing across a number of verticals including advanced materials, automation, and raw materials such as composite. Furthermore, there are several other verticals that are in focus in biopharma, medical equipment, automation, food security and water security, in line with the UAE’s industrial strategy.

Ibtisam Al Saadi, Industrial Development Department Director of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, highlighted Abu Dhabi’s recent announcement of investing AED10 billion in the industrial sector (equivalent to US$2.7 billion) in the coming five years. Sectors in focus include chemical, pharma, transportation, electronic and machinery. Furthermore, some of the budgets will be focused on offering incentive programmes, including FDI programmes. Mohamed Al Shorafa, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development announced yesterday that Abu Dhabi has reduced rent and land prices to just US$1.3 per square metre.

Discussions on Day 1 of GMIS America covered a broad spectrum of topics including the circular economy, shift to sustainability, and the energy transition. Taking place in Pittsburgh, home of the fourth industrial revolution, automation, and robotics, the MoIAT panel also explored the possible opportunities for US businesses in the automation sector.

Several high-level conversations between MoIAT and US-based companies took place on the sidelines of the event. Omar Al Suwaidi and Diane Farrell, US Deputy Under-Secretary for International Trade at the Department of Commerce, discussed common industries and ways to grow bilateral trade and further strengthen the strategic relationship between the two countries. Emerson explored how the firm can expand manufacturing in the UAE and join the country’s Champions Network.

Triumph signed an MoU with Sanad to create a Centre of Excellency in Abu Dhabi for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of V2500 engines. Supplement manufacturer Thorne discussed with MoIAT how it can start manufacturing in the UAE. Elliot Group expressed a desire to identify a location for its equipment in the UAE to serve petrochemical and refining plants. MoIAT extended its support to OnePointOne to connect the company with stakeholders in the UAE’s biopharma sector. Kennametal was introduced to the UAE industrial sector and key players in aerospace as well as oil and gas.

The MoIAT hosted a networking luncheon on Day 2 of GMIS America, to bring government and business leaders from the USA and the UAE together to share their knowledge on how to deepen cross-border partnerships and accelerate industrial transformations through digitalisation and advanced technology adoption.

Commenting on the UAE’s participation at GMIS America, Namir Hourani, Managing Director of the GMIS Organising Committee, said, “We are delighted to host such a strong and committed delegation from the UAE at GMIS America. The UAE has so much to offer international businesses through the ‘Make It in The Emirates’ campaign, and the nation’s unique value proposition. I’m glad that they were able to highlight these opportunities at GMIS America.

“Enhancing global dialogue is a crucial part of our mission – it helps drive cross-border, cross-sector collaboration between like-minded industrial professionals and experts who are eager to come together to shape a more sustainable manufacturing sector powered by advanced technologies.”

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