Industrial Coordination Council holds 1st meeting at Ministry of Economy headquarter

Group discusses opportunities and challenges, emphasizes role of innovation and technology in development of industrial sector

·         Al Mansouri: ‘The Council is working to give industry its rightful place in the national economy’

·         Manufacturing's share of GDP to increase to 20 per cent by 2021

·         Interest directed towards ‘green’ industry, rationalized energy consumption, higher levels of industrial integration

Abu Dhabi, July 17, 2016

The Industrial Coordination Council recently held its first meeting at the Ministry of Economy’s headquarters in Dubai headed by H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the Board. Also in attendance were Council members representing the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment; the Industry Development Office in Abu Dhabi; the Departments of Economic Development of Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah; the Fujairah Department of Industry and Economy; the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority; the Emirates Authority For Standardization and Metrology; the Federal Customs Authority; the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry; and the Industrialist Union Society.

H.E. Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry Affairs, and H.E. Abdullah Sultan Art Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Industrial Affairs at the Ministry, were also present.

Industrial Coordination Council holds 1st meeting at Ministry of Economy headquarter

The meeting discussed opportunities and challenges in developing the UAE’s industrial sector. It also touched on how to best translate the great importance placed on industry by the directives of the wise leadership into practice and practical plans that complement the quality and level of industrialization in the country. The suggested strategies aim to enhance the sector’s competitiveness at the regional and global levels, highlight the essential role industry plays in supporting national development, and establish its rightful place within the national economy.

H.E. Eng. Al Mansouri emphasized that the Council would consider the best mechanisms for developing appropriate solutions for the development of the industry starting at the grassroots level, with the focus to be on the role of local government in developing the appropriate policies for managing the affairs of the sector. He added that the Council will also properly manage activities at the federal level to achieve harmony with all policies.

The Minister further pointed out the importance of private sector members of the Council representing the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Federation of Industrialists. He explained that industrial policy formulation should be done in collaboration with rather than in isolation from the private sector to ensure that the resulting policies are practical and effective.

H.E. added that the Council will focus on consolidating the role of innovation in supporting and developing the manufacturing areas due to its importance in providing added value to the UAE as well as activating the extensive use of modern and advanced technologies in order to help drive the country's transition to a diversified knowledge-based economy.

The meeting reviewed the Industrial Coordination Council’s vision of establishing a leading national industry that relies on innovation and its mission of increasing manufacturing capabilities with due attention to small and medium-sized industrial enterprises, green industry policies, energy efficiency, higher capital investments at reduced labor costs, and stronger local, regional and global industrial partnerships.

Participants also identified the four strategic objectives adopted by the Council: increase the manufacturing sector’s GDP contribution to 20 percent by 2021; encourage and support sectors that contribute to achieving the goals of UAE Vision 2021; focus on sectors that target Emiratization; and prioritize sectors attracting industrial investments in areas that promote energy savings and pollution control.

The agenda also included an overview of the UAE’s current industrial situation. Among the major challenges discussed was how to raise manufacturing’s GDP share from 14 per cent in 2014 to 20 per cent in 2021 and increasing manufacturing capacity by improving the country’s ranking in the industry economic integration indices.

Participants discussed as well the strong competitive advantages enjoyed by UAE industry in several sectors, including base metals such as gold; chemical industries such as polymers; food and beverages; aircraft; motor vehicles and trailer equipment; various metals and machinery; rubber and plastics; metallic and non-metallic mineral products such as cement, glass and ceramics; and paper products, furniture, wood products and cork.

At the end of the meeting, the Council agreed to set up four working groups spanning the task of each of them for two months from the date of their formation. They will be entrusted with the implementation of the tasks and functions of the Council at the federal and local levels. The groups will conduct research on viable solutions and undertake the necessary studies and work to overcome obstacles to the ongoing development of the industrial sector.

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