The fourth meeting of the Industry Development Council (IDC) discussed key national developments in the fields of industry, manufacturing, technology and sustainability.
His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Chairman of the Industry Development Council, presided over the meeting, during which the Ministry of Finance and Tawazun Council were welcomed as new members.
The IDC is dedicated to enhancing the performance and competitiveness of the industrial sector, and to offering quality enablers, incentives and policies to stimulate investment and contribute to national priorities, such as economic diversification and net zero.
During the virtual meeting, the council discussed measures to stimulate the industrial sector and examined the progress of important projects such as updates to legislation and regulation, the progress on the industrial census, and required policies in allowing factories to generate electricity from renewable energy sources in line with the UAE’s efforts to reduce emissions and reach net zero.
It explored the key enablers and incentives that support sustainable industrial development. The council also discussed the formation of the Committee for the Industrial Technology Transformation Index, which was launched by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and represents a comprehensive framework for measuring factories’ digital maturity and sustainability and developing a roadmap for digitalization.
The IDC discussed the cabinet decision of increasing import duties on particular steel products from 5% to 10%% for three years with the aim of protecting national industries and encouraging local production, in line with the UAE’s international agreements and obligations to the World Trade Organization.
Industrial growth and competitiveness
HE Dr. Al Jaber said: “The Industry Development Council will expand the tools for enablement, integration and partnership in major national projects between the government and private sectors with the aim of creating an attractive business environment for local and international investors in the industrial sector and strengthening the country’s position as a global destination for leading future industries.
“We are delighted to welcome the Ministry of Finance and the Tawazun Council as new members of the Industry Development Council. The entities will play a key role in the council’s mission. The Ministry of Finance will create the incentives required to bring a paradigm shift and boost sustainable economic development. The Tawazun Council also plays an important role through the Offset Program, which supports quality industrial and technological partnerships in line with the National ICV Program. This will help create investment and industrial opportunities that will support national industry.
“In line with the country’s preparations for hosting COP28, the council also discussed the key enablers and incentives that support sustainable and efficient industrial development.”
Make it in the Emirates Forum and Awards
HE Dr. Al Jaber said: “The second edition of the Make it in the Emirates Forum will be held end of May in Abu Dhabi. We invite industrial companies to participate in the Make it in the Emirates Awards, which take place alongside the forum. The awards honor leading companies spearheading industrial and technological growth, Emiratization, sustainability, and innovation. We encourage local government agencies and industrial companies to join the event, where major industrial incentives and enablers will be revealed.
“The forum’s first edition firmly established the key factors underpinning the UAE’s industrial sector. In the next edition, we look forward to further significant outcomes to boost industrial development in the UAE.”
Industrial Technology Transformation Index
Dr. Al Jaber commented: “An Industrial Technology Transformation Index Taskforce will be formed to assess smart industry readiness among UAE factories. It will help manufacturers implement advanced technology and improve industrial competitiveness by increasing advanced technology adoption, while bolstering sustainability, efficiency and innovation in line with the national guidelines set out as part of the Year of Sustainability. The taskforce consists of representatives from MoIAT, top experts, major global private sector companies, and ICV certification bodies.”
HE Dr. Al Zeyoudi said: “The council is currently concluding the final draft of the Industry Regulation and Development Law’s Executive Regulations. The Policy and Legislation Taskforce continues to develop it, and it has been circulated among the emirates as part of the feedback process.
“The council discussed numerous vital projects that empower the UAE’s industrial sector, enhance its capabilities and provide incentives to industrial companies to support the competitiveness of local products. We examined several topics, namely the Industrial Transformation Project (also referred to as Make it in the Emirates incentives), and the law on connecting distributed renewable energy production units to the electrical grid. The taskforce showcased developments in implementing the National ICV Program and the nationwide Industrial Census.”
In Q1 2023, the Industrial Census witnessed growth in the number of large, medium, small and micro industrial enterprises registered on the online census platform.
The council urged all industrial enterprises in the UAE to register with the Industrial Census. It aims to establish an integrated database that enhances economic resilience and supports decision-making. It also supports import substitution, enhances local content, and stimulates supply chain localization. Moreover, it bolsters the circular economy and helps to integrate producers and suppliers in the UAE.
The (online) Industrial Census was launched as part of a partnership between MoIAT, the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (FCSC), local departments of economic development (DEDs) – which are members of the Industry Development Council -, and local statistics centers.
Council members also discussed the law for connecting distributed renewable energy units to the electrical grid, in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure. The law supports the adoption of clean energy solutions, which is a key pillar of the UAE’s climate action strategy. It also helps address the increasing demand for renewable energy within industry. The law also boosts the production capacity of industrial enterprises and waste management processes by treating waste such as iron, paper and oil and reusing it in manufacturing. This approach promotes sustainability and national efforts to reduce carbon emissions and move towards a circular economy.
The council also discussed progress on policies to price industrial waste in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, as well as ways to limit its export. Factories can reuse waste to reduce industrial input costs and enhance sustainability.
The meeting was attended by His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Vice Chairman of the Industry Development Council and Chairman of the Council’s Executive Committee, His Excellency Omar Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, His Excellency Major General Suhail Saeed Al Khaili, Director General of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security, Her Excellency Hanan Ahli, Director of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, His Excellency Eng Sharif Al Olama, Undersecretary for Energy and Petroleum Affairs, Noura Al Marzouqi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Policy and Strategy Sector at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization, His Excellency Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, CEO at Emirates Development Bank, and His Excellency Osama Amir Fadhel, Assistant Undersecretary of Industrial Accelerators at the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Rapporteur of the Industry Development Council.
Also in attendance were Fatima Alnaqbi, Acting Assistant Under-Secretary for Support Services Sector at Ministry of Finance, His Excellency Tareq Abdulraheem Al Hosani, Secretary-General of Tawazun Council, His Excellency Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Undersecretary of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), His Excellency Mohammed Obaid Bin Majed Al Aleeli, Director General of the Department of Industry and Economy in Fujairah, His Excellency Humaid Mohammed bin Salem, Secretary General of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and His Excellency Dr. Abdulrahman Al Shayeb Al Naqbi, Director General of the Department of Economic Development in Ras Al Khaimah, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Nuaimi, Director of business development administration at the Ajman Department of Economic Development, Sheikha Abdullah Al Shamsi, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Economic Development, and Mohammad Ali Al Kamali, Deputy CEO at the Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai.