ABU DHABI - Etihad Airways announced that it has become the country’s first airline to join the In-Country Value (ICV) Programme.
The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) is expanding the programme’s scope to include new sectors like aviation as part of the national industrial strategy to sustain economic growth and raise the efficiency and competitiveness of the industrial sector.
The In-Country Value Programme, part of the UAE’s Projects of the 50, is a pillar of the national industrial strategy and benefits certified companies by increasing local demand for their products and services. By joining the ICV programme, Etihad Airways will prioritize local suppliers and UAE companies in the procurement process. It will also encourage global suppliers to establish branches in the UAE, attracting more foreign investments to the country.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, and Mohammed Ali Al Shurafa, Chairman of Board of Directors of Etihad Aviation Group.
The MoU was inked on behalf of MoIAT by Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry and for Etihad Airways, Tony Douglas, Group CEO of Etihad Aviation Group.
Etihad Airways joins 18 other leading national institutions and 45 federal entities that have joined the ICV programme since it launched on a federal level late last year. The programme redirected more than AED 41 billion in 2021 from implementing entities purchases and services expenses, compared to AED 27 billion two years ago.
Al Suwaidi said, "The In-Country Value Programme is one of the pillars of the national strategy for advanced industry and technology, Operation 300Bn. It benefits certified companies by increasing demand for their products and services by redirecting government expenditure towards local companies. The initiative encourages the growth of the industrial sector in the UAE, supports the creation of quality jobs, and provides incentives for companies to adopt advanced technologies. Certification is awarded based on criteria such as the value of spending and investment in the country, Emiratization, and the adoption of advanced technology."
He added, "The addition of leading Emirati companies like Etihad Airways reflects the advantages provided by the programme, such as helping to boost growth, innovation, and competitiveness. The programme also helps to create more robust, efficient supply chains and underlines the close cooperation between the ministry, federal and local authorities, and major national companies. Purchasing the services of programme members will become one of the most important means of supporting and empowering the UAE industrial sector over the course of the next 50 years."
The In-Country Value Programme aims to increase the number of certified vendors within the programme from 5,000 to 7,300 companies and increase government expenditure on Emirati products and services from AED33 billion in 2020 to AED55 billion by 2025. In 2021, the National ICV Programme succeeded of redirecting expenditure up to AED41.2 billion.
Tony Douglas commented, "Etihad’s participation in the ICV Programme aligns with the airline’s overall vision and demonstrates our commitment to supporting UAE industry. As the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, we are committed to supporting local companies, and firmly believe it is important for private sector companies in the region to cooperate with the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology across its innovative projects, which seek to achieve the UAE’s future ambitions.
"In joining this latest initiative, we can expand our reach to local supply chains, contributing to the development of a sustainable, diversified and value-added economy for the UAE.
He added, "As part of our strategy, in 2020 Etihad launched the ‘Al Watani’ local content programme. Since then, we have collaborated with more than 1,000 local vendors, and more than 35% of Etihad’s spending is on purchases in the UAE market. We aim for this agreement with the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology to sustain Etihad’s expenditure on national companies and enhance the opportunities for local vendors and SMEs in Etihad’s supply activities."