UAE - The global manufacturing community must urgently accelerate the integration of advanced technologies into supply and value chains to make the industry more sustainable and ultimately help the world achieve net-zero by 2050.
That was the tone set on the opening day of the inaugural Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) America by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) and the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, and GMIS Co-Chair, delivered a virtual keynote speech to an international audience of government, business, industry and manufacturing leaders in Pennsylvania.
He was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the forum held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
The three-day event will facilitate cooperation between American and Emirati companies to shape the future of the industrial sector. As co-chair of GMIS, the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology is showcasing the UAE’s national industrial strategy and the Make it in the Emirates campaign.
Delegates at the opening ceremony heard how advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, edge computing and nanotechnology are opening new pathways for industrial growth and ensuring that economic and climate progress go hand-in-hand.
They heard how these technologies can help design circular solutions for industry, dramatically reduce energy consumption, and disrupt existing production models.
In his video address, Dr Sultan Al Jaber referenced how the UAE – which is implementing a national industrial development program, known as UAE Industry 4.0, and hosting COP28 next year – has created a dynamic ecosystem for hi-tech partnerships, including with numerous US organizations, that he hopes to strengthen and grow.
He sounded a note of caution, meanwhile, that hard-to-abate industries that rely on traditional sources of energy should not be forgotten. Investment in technologies such as carbon capture, he said, are crucial to mitigating environmental impacts.
As part of GMIS America’s inaugural ceremony, Omar Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, joined Diane Farrell, US Deputy Undersecretary for International Trade to deliver keynotes.
In his welcome address, Omar Ahmed Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of MoIAT, said: "The summit is the result of a unique partnership between the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido). It is designed to build bridges between manufacturers, governments, the research community and investors from around the world."
"The forum is a platform for sharing knowledge and best practices on the forces shaping global manufacturing. In doing so, our partnership seeks to fulfil the UN’s sustainable development goals … to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation," he added.
Al Suwaidi pointed out that UAE's national industrial strategy is underpinned by the integration of advanced technology with the industrial sector.
"It was grounded in the understanding that, in a rapidly changing world, our long-term, sustainable growth required new drivers. Realizing these ambitions requires collaboration and exchange with the world’s leading innovators. In this spirit of partnership that we launched GMIS America," he noted.
"By reaching out to the industrial, technological and research ecosystem in the world’s largest economy, we seek to harness the innovations shaping the future of industry. It also allows us to highlight the opportunities and incentives available in the UAE for international industrialists, manufacturers and investors, and our compelling platform for companies seeking to expand into Asia, Africa, the Middle East and beyond," he added.
Joining via video link from Vienna, Gerd Müller, the Unido Director General and GMIS Co-Chair, delivered a keynote speech to underline the importance of GMIS America’s theme, ‘advancing global industrialization and net zero’, and how transformative advanced technologies will help achieve a number of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
"Advanced technology is not simply for saving labor costs. It can save our planet. It is vital that we work closely with private industry to decarbonize production," remarked Müller.
"At Unido, we assist governments and manufacturers with greening their value chains, reducing harmful emissions through a circular economy approach, and enhancing resource efficiency," he added.
According to him, social sustainability is also vital: innovation can contribute to fairer trade and investment.
"It can improve industrial safety and human wellbeing. It can make business more transparent. Governments, the private sector, the research community and civil society need to work together and complement each other. Forums such as GMIS can help us bridge the gap between dialogue and action," he explained.
Diane Farrell, US Deputy Undersecretary for International Trade, said: "Through events like GMIS, we can help to marshal resources, facilitate innovation, and create meaningful partnerships to help transform manufacturing and address our most pressing issues."
Spotlighting Abu Dhabi’s Industrial Strategy to a global audience, Mohamed Al Shorafa, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development delivered a virtual address to introduce the UAE capital’s comprehensive strategy that focuses on increasing access to financing, enhancing the ease of doing business, and attracting foreign direct investment to advance the emirate’s manufacturing sector and shape a resilient and diversified economy.
Al Shorafa highlighted Abu Dhabi DED’s goal to increase Abu Dhabi's non-oil exports by 143 per cent by 2031, to AED178.8 billion ($49 billion).
"We will continue to invest in developing world-class infrastructure, boosting global connectivity, and providing the necessary support to businesses operating throughout Abu Dhabi. Let's work together into future, and I invite all market heavyweights and ambitious entrepreneurs to take advantage of the benefits that Abu Dhabi offers and be part of our exciting journey of growth," observed Al Shorafa.
Other notable participants at the Opening Ceremony included Bill Peduto, Former Mayor of Pittsburgh and Rich Fitzgerald, Alleghany County Executive, who provided an official welcome to Pittsburgh.
Namir Hourani, Managing Director of GMIS, said: "Pittsburgh has really become a global hub for advanced technology and innovation. When you couple that with their top-notch research and development and their strong stance on sustainability, it’s hard to imagine a better US city than Pittsburgh to host our inaugural and annual GMIS America."
Over the next three days, GMIS America will host multiple activities including a roadshow comprises high-profile sessions across several formats, keynote addresses, panel discussions, and fireside chats as well as a gala dinner and interactive workshops.
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