Growing the industrial sector will be the UAE’s priority over the next decade to drive the national economy, said a top UAE official on Wednesday.
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, said the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the gap in the industrial sector of the UAE when the ‘pressure and demand on local products increased’.
“We were not paying attention to the industrial sector until factories in the UAE started working harder to meet the surging demand on local production during the pandemic,” said Sheikh Mansour in a televised interview broadcast during the second and last day of the World Government Summit 2022.
He stated that over the last decade, the contribution of the industrial sector to the UAE’s GDP increased by only one per cent, which is “sad and shameful”.
Pharmaceuticals, food supplies and the military are the three sectors that are top priority for the UAE’s industrial sector over the coming years, noted Sheikh Mansour.
He added that, within the pharmaceuticals industry, the UAE started developing vaccines that have attracted demand from neighbouring countries.
The country has also signed knowledge exchange partnerships to develop technologies that advance the local food production.
“Trust in the Emirati product is increasing,” said Al Nahyan, stressing that the UAE is focusing on attracting foreign investors from all over the world and creating a competitive environment.
Last year, the UAE launched ‘Operation 300 billion’, a 10-year comprehensive strategy that aims to make the industrial sector the main driver of the national economy. The strategy seeks to raise the sector’s contribution to the GDP from Dh133 billion to Dh300 billion by 2031, focusing on the key sectors of food, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, electronics and future space industries.
Al Nahyan stressed on the need to advance the level of education in the UAE to nurture a generation of productive and professional Emiratis in the country’s industries whom foreign investors can rely on.
“The UAE has signed strategic partnerships with many countries that we need to benefit from,” noted Al Nahyan.
Regarding inviting foreign investors to the UAE, Sheikh Mansour said the country practises “full transparency” and provides a secure and dynamic business environment.
“Investors will never find legal violations or abrupt changes or instabilities that can harm their business.”
- UAE: Technological innovation determines defence capabilities, minister says
- GCC clean energy drive requires $50b for grid-related investments
Al Nahyan added, “The laws in the UAE are very clear, and if they need amendments to serve the UAE’s interests better, we will amend them.”
He stressed on the country’s support to the youth in the UAE’s economic diversification.
“It is important that young people benefit from the industrial sector advancement. It is important that we diversify our sectors,” said Al Nahyan.