UAE - Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, has underlined the UAE’s emerging position and attraction as a global industrial hub during a visit to the Khalifa Industrial City (Kizad), the largest industrial city in the Middle East.
Kizad is an integrated commercial, industrial and logistic centre in Abu Dhabi, operating under the umbrella of the economic cities and free zones sector of Abu Dhabi Ports Group and contributing to empowering the industrial sector by helping its products to access global markets comprising 4.5 billion consumers worldwide.
The visit is part of a series of tours by the minister to inspect the performance of industrial facilities in the country and to discuss ways to motivate investors to take advantage of the benefits offered by the UAE. The strategy includes an attractive business environment, providing a stimulating work system for establishing and developing industrial projects, and closer cooperation and exchange of experiences and dialogue with various parties to develop procedures and incentives related to the industrial sector.
Dr Jaber was briefed on the development and growth plans of industrial projects, the opportunities for expansion and regional and global competitiveness, and the advantages for companies situated in Kizad. He was briefed on the efforts of The National Food Products Company, which is one of the largest companies in the region for the wholesale food trade and related logistics, along with the plans and operations of Al Tala Board Manufacturing Company, which operates the first factory of its kind in the world to produce high quality wood boards through recycling palm tree waste through innovative technologies.
Dr Jaber was accompanied by Mohammed Ali Al Shurafa, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development; Omar Ahmed Suwain Al Suwaidi, undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology; Osama Amir Fadhel, assistant undersecretary for the Industrial Accelerators Sector; and Farah Ali Al Zarooni, acting assistant undersecretary for the standards and regulations sector in the ministry; Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamsi, managing director and Group CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, and a number of officials from Kizad and companies operating there.
Dr Jaber said the ministry’s efforts and work focuses on implementing the directives of the UAE’s leadership to enhance the role of the industrial sector in the growth of the national economy.
“Our strategy is based on creating value, innovation, sustainability and future foresight, and boosting competitiveness to establish the UAE as a global destination for industrial investments. Today we are witnessing living examples and major developments in Kizad and its ability to attract quality industrial investments. Kizad provides a supportive environment for global industrial projects, which is a major tool for growth, development and prosperity,” he said.
Dr Jaber praised the vital role played by Kizad as an integrated free zone for industry, commerce and logistics. It provides strategic access to regional and global markets with competitive operating costs and greater ease of doing business, providing a solid industrial base that attracts local and foreign investments.
“The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology is keen to follow up on all industrial projects and support their success and expansion, through communication with all relevant partners in the industrial sector to learn about their needs and requirements. We are working to stimulate national factories and industries through various initiatives and financing solutions that support growth, and we are continuing to develop procedures and review policies and the legislative and regulatory structure to stimulate the industrial sector to enhance its competitiveness,” he said.
Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa reiterated the commitment of Abu Dhabi to further develop the industrial sector to strengthen non-oil sectors in Abu Dhabi.
“The Industrial sector is witnessing substantial shifts, particularly with manufacturing industries based on advanced technologies. Kizad has been a major catalyst in developing projects that are adopting industry 4.0 applications and solutions. Strategically located near Khalifa Port, Kizad provides unique solutions, reflecting Abu Dhabi’s capability to attract investments and launch innovative projects with world-class services and products,” he said.
The National Food Products Company (NFPC) is one of the most prominent companies in Kizad. It employs more than 4,500 people in various locations throughout the country and the region and it exports to more than 40 markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, with a focus on GCC countries and with a total value of investments reaching Dh1.1 billion.
Kifah Hussein, operations director of the National Food Products Company, gave an overview of the company, which is also one of the largest producers of processed food products and juices in the country, produced in a semi-automated, highly efficient factory.
The CEO Ali bin Hamooda Aldhaheri said: “NFPC has been operating for decades and our activities have expanded significantly over the past few years, especially in KIZAD, which has provided us with logistical facilities, flexible spaces, land, energy solutions, and everything that our industry needs for growth and development. Our company and our facilities have met international standards, thanks to the national policies that supports industry. We highly appreciate the visit of His Excellency the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and his interest in learning about our projects and future growth plans in light of the successes we have achieved. We stress that the most important advantage that industries enjoy in the UAE is the ability to expand and grow rapidly in a short time due to the multiple advantages and opportunities offered that enhance our successes and the success of investors in the UAE.”
Al Tala Board Manufacturing Company is the first factory of its kind in the world to produce high quality wood boards by collecting the waste of palm trees and recycling them locally. The company uses innovative technologies to develop and manufacture these products after obtaining its first patent, allowing it to produce 115,000 cubic meters of wood boards annually. The factory extends over an area of more than 50,000 square meters.
Hatem Farah, chairman of Al Tala Board Manufacturing Company, gave an overview of the company and its factory, which operates on an innovative and sustainable basis.
“We started our activities through innovative technologies of our own and we succeeded in turning this project into one of the most important projects for recycling agricultural waste. We extend our thanks and appreciation to the UAE, represented by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and the government of Abu Dhabi, and all those in charge of Kizad for the support and motivation we receive, which has led to the empowerment of this project thanks to the operational and competitive advantages provided by Kizad.”
He added: “We highly appreciate the minister’s visits, which motivate the private sector to achieve more success and enhance industrial activities in light of the support the UAE provides to industrial projects. We are optimistic about the various opportunities here that will enhance our business in the future.”
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