The UAE’s industrial sector contributed over AED180 billion ($49 billion) to the country’s national GDP, while exports reached AED174 billion ($47.37 billion) in 2022, a top official said while highlighting the achievements of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT).
“Our achievements indicate that the UAE's industrial sector is making remarkable progress in adopting advanced technology and stimulating innovation in industry,” Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), said commenting on MoIAT annual achievements report issued today (Wednesday).
The report outlines the Ministry’s key outcomes and milestones in 2022, in regard to developing the industrial sector, increasing its contribution to national GDP, creating an attractive business environment for local and foreign industrial investments, and stimulating innovation and the adoption of advanced technology in industrial solutions.
The report showcases the progress of the national strategy for industry and advanced technology, Operation 300bn, which was launched in 2021 and aims to transform the UAE into a global manufacturing hub. Through joining forces with local and federal entities under the umbrella of the Industry Development Council, the National Committee for the In-Country Value (ICV) Program, the Steering Committee for Standardization and Metrology, and the private sector, MoIAT has worked to enhance the UAE’s economic resilience, as well as empower national industries and enhance the competitiveness of their products.
"Launching several programs and strategies in 2022, MoIAT has made impressive achievements that support the UAE’s industrial growth. The industrial sector’s enhanced efficiency and competitiveness have increased its investment attractiveness and support the growth of national GDP. According to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the UAE’s industrial exports reached AED 174 billion, which underlines the ability of our national industries to compete on the global stage.
The industrial sector is projected to have contributed over AED 180 billion,” Dr Al Jaber said.
"MoIAT issued 263 new industrial production licenses in 2022 – a 20% increase over 2021, while the national In-Country Value (ICV) program succeeded in redirecting AED 53 billion into the economy – a 25% increase.”
Dr Al Jaber, continued: "His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, issued Federal Decree-Law No. 25 of 2022, establishing a key pillar for regulating and developing the industrial sector. The decree also expanded a package of incentives and enablers that support national objectives and enhance the UAE's industrial competitiveness, in line with the Make it in the Emirates initiative.”
The Minister noted that MoIAT has established several international industrial partnerships that demonstrate the UAE’s collaborative approach to drive progress across the board.
He emphasised MoIAT's efforts to help Emirati products enter new markets by working alongside other ministries to secure reduced customs tariffs in parallel with comprehensive economic partnership agreements (CEPAs). The Ministry is also providing financial incentives through seven local and international financial institutions, and has reduced 14 service fees to cut the cost of doing business.
He added: “MoIAT is set to announce more initiatives, plans, incentives and enablers in the coming months as we look to achieve a quantum leap in the industrial sector in support of the UAE's vision for national development over the next 50 years.”
Transforming industry with technology
Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, said: "MoIAT has helped to accelerate technology adoption in 2022, enhancing efficiency, competitiveness and investment attractiveness in the industrial sector. MoIAT also facilitated financing for industrial companies to obtain advanced technology solutions with a total of AED 699 million."
She continued: "Our achievements indicate that the UAE's industrial sector is making remarkable progress in adopting advanced technology and stimulating innovation in its operations. The launch of the Technology Transformation Program, which aims to establish 1,000 technology projects by 2031, is a significant milestone that contributes to the UAE’s sustainability agenda. The program raises awareness, provides technical support, builds capacity, and creates an attractive environment with monetary and non-monetary incentives to advance the technological transformation of priority sectors.
Partnerships are at the core of the program, as we collaborate with the government, the private sector and academia to achieve its objectives. Through our partnership with the private sector, we helped develop sustainability roadmaps for our largest 50 factories to contribute to the UAE’s climate neutrality efforts.”
Al Amiri added: “The government is working to position the UAE as a global 4IR hub, while building a competitive national economy based on knowledge, innovation, and future technologies. It also focuses on growing the rate of advanced technology adoption among national industries from 5% to 7% in 2023.”
She pointed out that MoIAT has continued efforts to develop human capacities and support industrial leaders’ capabilities. In partnership with the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, it trained 100 CEOs on leveraging 4IR in their operations.
Make it in the Emirates
In 2022, the first Make it in the Emirates Forum was held. It drew the participation of over 1,300 representatives of major local and global industrial companies, government entities, and financial institutions. The Forum saw the announcement of 300+ products that can be manufactured locally through investing over AED 110 billion as part of companies’ procurement requirements for the next decade across 11 sectors targeted for growth. Those sectors include metals, petrochemicals, plastics, machinery and equipment, defense industries, pharmaceuticals, technology, medical equipment, communications, F&B, and Agri-tech.
MoIAT conducted a feasibility study for 47 products targeted for local manufacturing to measure their compatibility with its strategic sectors and determine their imports volume. The results were presented at the Make it in the Emirates platform to attract potential investors in priority industrial sectors.
Moreover, the platform featured many key announcements that offer incentives for manufacturers.
These include reducing industrial fees for companies, reducing fees for services provided to the industrial sector, facilitating the entry of Emirati products into new markets at lower customs tariffs, and concessional financing through seven national and foreign finance institutions.
The Make it in the Emirates Roadshows series was announced during the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), with around 60 leading industrial companies from Germany, France, and the United Kingdom in attendance.
So far, industrial companies signed 19 letters of intent to invest AED 3.1 billion in products targeted for local manufacturing. Last year also saw the introduction of new financing solutions worth AED 3.14 billion from the Emirates Development Bank and AED 1.3 billion from Etihad Credit Insurance to empower industrial companies and enhance the sector’s export potetial.
Moreover, MoIAT has reduced fees of 14 services to create an attractive business environment for local and international investors and support entrepreneurship and SMEs in the industrial sector by cutting down the cost of issuing licenses and certificates.
Through the Industry Development Council, which harmonizes federal efforts, industrial license issuance fees were reduced in Abu Dhabi to AED 1,000 and in Ajman to AED 1,000-2,000 for industrial sector investors, in cooperation with the departments of economic development in both emirates. In addition, competitive rents, which could reach as low as AED 10/m2, were provided in Abu Dhabi, AED
16/m2 in Fujairah, and AED 8-25/m2 in Ras Al Khaimah.
National In-Country Value Program
In 2022, six new entities joined the National In-Country Value Program, bringing the total number to 20. Through the program, companies have invested over AED 53 billion – a 25% increase – locally in the industrial sector and provided jobs for 1,987 UAE nationals.
MoIAT has redoubled its efforts to accelerate the adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies in the industrial sector through a series of major initiatives under the UAE Industry 4.0 program. In 2022, MoIAT supported 175 factories in developing a roadmap for their technological transformations by evaluating their digital maturity, bringing the total number to 275 factories.
MoIAT has also identified and supported 14 national and international factories operating in the country within the category of industrial lighthouses as leaders in adopting 4IR applications. In 2022, a MoIAT-led survey showed that companies evaluated within the UAE Industry 4.0 program will invest approximately AED 750 million in advanced technology solutions, based on recommendations they received from the ministry.
Under the strategic partnership between the Ministry and the Emirates Development Bank, the Ministry has facilitated financing for industrial companies to obtain advanced technology solutions through the bank, with a total of AED 699 million in 2022.
In terms of supporting the capabilities of executives and leaders in the industrial sector, the Ministry continued its efforts through the Leadership 4.0 program in partnership with the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, training 70 leaders of major local and international industrial companies in the UAE, bringing the total number to 100.
Through the Champions 4.0 Network, eight workshops and virtual tours were held to raise awareness about the importance of industrial revolution technologies and their uses in the industrial sector. These tours were held in partnership with local and international companies, including Siemens, Honeywell, Unilever, EDGE, Yokogawa and others. The Ministry also organized the first annual gathering of the Champions 4.0 Network, which was attended by more than 200 representatives of the industrial sector.
Moreover, MoIAT launched the first Industrial Empowerment Center through a strategic partnership with EDGE Group.
Technology Transformation Program
To complement the Ministry's efforts to support the adoption and development of advanced
technologies in the industrial sector, the Ministry launched the Technology Transformation Program. The program aims to launch more than 1,000 technological projects by 2031, raise advanced technology exports to AED 15 billion, and increase the GDP of advanced technology to AED 110 billion.
The Ministry launched a roadmap for digital transformation in services, which included the development of a comprehensive and integrated strategy for digital and proactive services. Its achievements in 2022 include the completion of the service digital transformation project by 100% on the service digital platform, enabling customers to apply for services through the Ministry's portal and app, and the closure of the Customer Happiness Center in February 2022.
Electronic connection has also been activated with the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) and the General Civil Aviation Authority along with the enhancement of drone services. Two of the Ministry’s services achieved distinguished results ranking among the top 10 services at the level of federal entities based on the results of measuring the quality of services for the first half of 2022. The two services include requesting exemption for industry inputs from customs duties and issuing product conformity certificates according to health and safety requirements.
Among its digital services results, the Ministry issued 117 initial approvals for industrial production licenses, an increase of 8% compared to 2021. A noticeable increase was achieved in the number of transactions requesting customs exemption for industry inputs, totaling nearly 200,000 transactions in 2022, an increase of over 7% over previous year, which contributed to reducing the sector’s total costs by close to AED four billion in 2022.
The Ministry achieved 100% leadership in three indices of digital enablers, including the percentage of digital transformation of federal government services, the percentage of usage of digital government services and the percentage of usage of digital enablers. It has also developed an integrated industrial database, which resulted in achieving a score of 92% on the data maturity index based on the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Center evaluation. The Ministry was ranked among the leading federal entities in terms of data maturity.
Integrated industrial partnership
The Ministry signed an integrated industrial partnership with Egypt, Jordan and Bahrain, with the aim of enhancing sustainable growth of the industrial sector, driving progress towards achieving self-sufficiency, food and health security, integrating value chains, and providing new job opportunities that enhance sustainable economic growth. As part of the partnership, the first wave of industrial projects with a value exceeding $1 billion was launched in 2022.
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