ABU DHABI: UAE exporters can reach more than 2.2 billion consumers today thanks to new trade agreements with some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said.
Speaking at the Make it in the Emirates Forum, Dr. Zeyoudi said Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (CEPAs) with India, Israel, Indonesia, and Türkiye increased the number of people manufacturers could reach by 1.6 billion. This will grow further with the Emirates poised to sign a string of new deals this year.
“We’re focusing on the countries that are expected to have huge growth and huge demand for the products we’re producing,” He said during a panel session titled ‘The Value Proposition’. “We are going to conclude four to six agreements by the end of the year and that’s going to create huge opportunities for our manufacturers and factories.”
He added, “The UAE has provided a wide range of incentives and enablers to attract foreign direct investments and created an ecosystem that supports the establishment and expansion of businesses.”
He noted how UAE-based manufacturers can now reach 134 countries around the world through the country’s ports, adding that its CEPAs could contribute to more than 2.6 percent of national GDP by 2031, helping to boost exports by more than US$120 billion over the next 10 years.
Ahmed Jassem Al Zaabi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), added that the emirate plans to “double down” on efforts to expand economic growth through the AED10 billion Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy. Launched in 2022, it aims to more than double the industrial sector’s size to AED172 billion, create more than 13,000 new jobs, and contribute to increasing Abu Dhabi’s non-oil exports to around AED179 billion by 2031.
“There’s been a continuous evolution and diversification of the Abu Dhabi economy, built on partnerships, sustainable growth, and the fundamentals of fiscal policy,” Al Zaabi said, adding, “Abu Dhabi will continue to double down on efforts to expand the competitiveness of the industrial sector.”
He noted that Abu Dhabi is attracting increasing amounts of FDI and stimulating local industrial investments through its agile policies and regulations, supporting national economic diversification.
Omar Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry & Advanced Technology (MoIAT), added the ministry’s Make it in the Emirates initiative complements the country’s innovation ecosystem and export growth by strengthening its ability to link global supply and demand.
“The National In-Country Value Program has grown at a fast pace, and it’s been the key value-creation lever for this strategy,” Al Zaabi explained. “Today’s announcements are a testament to how local industries are evolving, driving and developing.”
Al Suwaidi also acknowledged an earlier announcement made during the forum regarding AED31 billion out of AED110 billion worth of offtake agreements being implemented since they were announced at the inaugural Make it in the Emirates Forum in 2022.
The trio spoke at the second edition of the Make it in the Emirates Forum, jointly organised by MoIAT in collaboration with ADDED and ADNOC.