UAE’s industrial exports surge by 60% to $50bn in 3 years: minister

RIYADH: The UAE’s industrial exports surged by 60 percent over the past three years, amounting to a projected 187 billion dirhams ($50.9 billion), according to a minister.

Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, the minister of industry and advanced technology, underscored in a statement to the Emirates News Agency the pursuit of initiatives aimed at bolstering industrial prowess and elevating competitiveness on both national and international fronts.

Al-Jaber emphasized his ministry’s commitment to enhancing in-country value and boosting manufacturing processes, promoting supply chain security and economic competitiveness, thereby increasing domestic product support.

He said: “Industrial exports have grown by 60 percent with significant progress being made last year, amounting to a projected 187 billion dirhams compared to 117 billion dirhams in 2020. Industrial productivity has increased by 18 percent compared to 2020.”

Al-Jaber added: “In 2023, the UAE ranked first regionally and 29th globally in UNIDO’s (UN Industrial Development Organization) Competitive Industrial Performance Index, climbing seven spots since 2020.”

The CIP Index indicates the ability of countries to produce and export manufactured goods competitively. 

In 2021, the UAE secured 29th place, while Saudi Arabia claimed 35th. Qatar followed closely behind in 50th position, with Bahrain trailing in 51st. Oman clinched 56th place, and Kuwait settled in 62nd.

“It (CIP) provides a graphical summary capturing the competitive performance of each of the 152 countries included in the 2020 CIP Index, relative to their performance in previous years and compared to that of the rest of the world,” according to UNIDO.

The industry’s contribution to the UAE’s economy has increased by 49 percent since the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology was established in 2020, according to the minister. 

Prior to its creation, the sector’s contribution to gross domestic product was 132 billion dirhams, which has now reached a projected 197 billion dirhams. The industry division achieved a 9 percent increase compared to 2022 figures.

Highlighting the tangible outcomes of the ministry’s endeavors, Al-Jaber continued: “This has contributed to greater national industrial security and self-sufficiency, resulting in 9.3 billion dirhams worth of import substitution projects.” 

He underscored that one of the department’s leading initiatives is the National In-Country Value Programme, which has redirected over 237 billion dirhams spent outside the UAE back into the national economy.

The primary objective of the ICV Program is to enhance economic performance and bolster local industries by channeling a larger portion of public expenditure into the national economy. 

Administered by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, this initiative is designed to localize the supply chain, foster the emergence of new regional industries and services, attract foreign investments, as well as promote economic diversification, generate significant job opportunities within the private sector, and elevate the national GDP.

It also aims to boost spending on research and development and advanced technology and augment the private sector’s overall contribution to economic output.

“This recapturing of national procurement has contributed to the growth and competitiveness of the industrial sector and has directly enhanced self-sufficiency. So far, 16,000 Emiratis have been employed across ICV-certified companies,” Al-Jaber added.

The intiative operates within an extensive network of stakeholders, encompassing two key groups, including ICV certifying bodies duly authorized by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, which are responsible for conducting thorough technical assessments on company certification applications. 

These entities issue certificates in compliance with the ministry’s stipulated criteria. 

There are also certified companies that have successfully acquired ICV accreditation from the designated licensed bodies.

These include Al Sharq Plas LLC, Marks Decoration and Seacorr Engineering Services LLC, as well as Total Connexons Electrical LLC and others.

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