UAE keen to support GCC’s industrial sector growth; Dr. Al Jaber

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber has stated that the country aims to strengthen cooperation, coordination, and information sharing in support of the GCC’s economy, especially in the industrial sector.

Dr. Al Jaber also praised GCC countries’ collaboration in preparing for a post-pandemic future, which should remain a high priority for combined Gulf action in the coming years.

He made these statements during the GCC Industrial Cooperation Committee’s 48th meeting in Bahrain. The delegates noted that the industrial sector, which includes sophisticated technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT), will be a primary focus because of its significance to economic diversification. The discussions also focused on the development of regulations, policies, and laws, and the support for local products.

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber
Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber
UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology

“In line with the directives of our wise leadership, we always seek to enhance cooperation and coordination with our brothers in the GCC to achieve mutually beneficial results. There are positive indicators that point to growth in the GCC’s industrial sector, through providing support to the industry, increased innovation, and the adoption of advanced technology applications and 4IR solutions. There has also been considerable coordination in priority industrial sectors to enhance their overall performance and global competitiveness. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated efforts to improve collaboration across the GCC and develop future strategies. This comes in parallel with current efforts to update the GCC Unified Industrial Strategy document in a way that enhances industrial integration, accelerates the development and implementation of programs in strategic industries, and utilizes each country’s strengths.”

He explained that the UAE’s Industry 4.0 program aims to boost industrial productivity by 30 percent and add $6 billion (AED25 billion) to GDP over the next ten years. The initiative is a fundamental pillar of the UAE’s national industrial plan, Operation 300bn, which aligns with the UAE’s new phase of growth and development over the next fifty years, enhancing its position as a hub for creative ideas and emerging industries.

According to the minister, attaining comprehensive industrial growth in GCC states will result in increased production efficiencies and higher quality outputs. It will also have positive social effects, from enhancing safety and security to improving services, developing economic opportunities, and increasing the sector’s contribution to GDP, as well as promoting investment opportunities in priority industrial sectors.

The meeting also included “an agreement to issue Gulf regulations and programs that contribute to the expansion of national projects that add value to members’ economies, develop future plans for manufacturing during health pandemics, enhance cooperation between Gulf government entities related to the industry, and to exchange experiences, information, and training.”

Last week, the 40th preparatory meeting for the Undersecretaries of the Ministries of Industry was held at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Gulf Co-operation Council in Saudi Arabia. The attendees were briefed on the vision to boost joint Gulf action.

Their recommendations included joining the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting as a member of the Industrial Development Committee, and for the topic of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” to the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting to be considered for inclusion in the updated Unified Industrial Strategy.

Further, the committee agreed on a framework for increasing the industrial sector’s participation in the GCC to foster industrial development at both the national and regional levels.

Related: Abu Dhabi unveils ‘Smart Manufacturing Project’ to push Industry 4.0