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UAE: MoIAT contributes projected AED197bn to UAE GDP in 2023

Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) has announced its key achievements for 2023, topped by the sector's contribution to the country's GDP reaching a projected AED197 billion in 2023. The ministry's achievements were driven by four main pillars, including: providing a business-friendly environment that supports the growth and attractiveness of UAE companies; boosting In-Country Value in the industrial sector; accelerating technological transformation to support productivity and competitiveness; and promoting sustainability. The pillars align with the objectives of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, Operation 300bn. Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, said, "The ministry is focused on implementing the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. It is guided by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, to drive the industrial sector's growth. We aim to achieve sustainable economic development by amplifying efforts and building a robust industrial sector, supported by an integrated legislative and regulatory system. "The ministry continues to leverage advanced technology solutions to increase the industrial sector's competitiveness and contribution to GDP. In 2023, the ministry achieved several milestones, including completing 30 percent of the Operation 300bn target, with the sector's contribution to GDP reaching a projected AED197 billion in 2023."
Dr. Al Jaber noted, "Since the launch of Operation 300bn in 2021, industrial exports grew by 17 percent, with the sector recording a 7 percent growth in productivity. The ministry also activated import substitution projects worth AED9.3bn. In 2023, the UAE ranked first regionally and 29th globally in the Competitive Industrial Performance Index, released by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
"The ministry, in collaboration with its strategic partners EDB, Mashreq Bank and FAB, provided the industrial sector with competitive financing solutions totalling AED5.3 billion, marking a 70 percent growth from 2022. SMEs secured 90 percent of the financing provided under the initiative, which aims to enhance industrial companies' capacity for growth and competitiveness. In addition, the ministry secured credit solutions amounting to AED1.4 billion in 2023 through Etihad Credit Insurance. Further, the ministry facilitated AED3.3 billion in industrial investments in future industries like biotechnology, hydrogen, and electric vehicles." Dr. Al Jaber said, "Supporting the localisation of supply chains, the National ICV Programme achieved 17 percent growth in local expenditure YoY, reaching AED61 billion. Additionally, 28 percent of the total value of the local procurement deals announced in the Make it in the Emirates Forum have been secured, which amounts to AED31bn." He continued, "As part of its efforts to drive Emiratisation in the industrial sector, the ministry launched several initiatives. These have boosted career growth for local talent in National ICV Programme-certified companies and employed more than 7,000 UAE nationals. Additionally, the Industrialists Programme was introduced in 2023 to empower Emiratis, connecting jobseekers with industrial companies and provided 500 jobs in its first launch." Dr. Al Jaber also touched on the ministry's alignment with the UAE's sustainability and climate action efforts. These efforts centre on the adoption of advanced technologies and sustainability best practices throughout the industrial value chain. He pointed to the ministry's announcement of the Industrial Decarbonisation Roadmap, which targets a 93 percent reduction in carbon emissions by the year 2050. The roadmap was announced during the ministry's participation at COP28, hosted by the UAE at the end of 2023. He added, "The achievements witnessed in the national industrial sector confirm that it is on the right path and aligned with the leadership's vision. The sector continues to be a key engine of the UAE's sustainable economic growth, supporting local production, empowering talent, and providing opportunities for business expansion to investors, enabling them to promote their products, and access key global markets."
Future Direction
Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, said, "In line with the directives of our leadership, the ministry has accomplished many key achievements in 2023, supporting the growth of the national industrial sector. These achievements have helped boost productivity, competitiveness, and investment attractiveness, particularly in strategic industries and priority sectors. Some of these achievements were the result of several new programmes and initiatives promoting technology transformation in the industrial sector, which boosted the competitiveness of the UAE in various global indicators. The country ranked first regionally and climbed five positions globally in the United Nations Frontier Technologies Readiness Index." She continued, "As part of its efforts to accelerate the adoption of innovative technologies in industry, the ministry launched the Industrial Technology Transformation Index (ITTI) in 2023. A cornerstone of Operation 300bn, the index evaluated and developed technology roadmaps for 153 companies. The assessments resulted in an increase in the number of companies implementing sustainability practices to reach 70 percent. Additionally, the percentage of companies adopting Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) solutions is 32 percent. The initiative led to the creation of 360 high-technology jobs, with assessed companies investing an estimated AED600 million in technology." Al Amiri highlighted the integration of the ITTI into the National ICV Programme's formula to incentivise companies to adopt technologies and sustainable practices. She noted that the Technology Transformation Programme (TTP) has been pivotal in enabling technological transformation in priority sectors through raising awareness, providing technical support, building capacities, creating a testbed environment, and providing financial and non-financial incentives.
Incentives and Enablers
In line with the goals of Operation 300bn, which aims to foster a business environment that supports growth and competitiveness, MoIAT continued to offer new incentives, financial solutions, and flexible legislative frameworks in 2023. Among these initiatives was the issuance of new laws on the regulation and development of industry. Additionally, AED5.3 billion of new financial solutions were provided, marking a 70 percent increase compared to 2022. The ministry also provided customs exemptions for manufacturers on industrial inputs, including machinery, equipment, and raw materials, totalling AED3 billion. Additionally, AED1.4 billion of credit solutions were offered to boost exports as part of a collaboration with Etihad Credit Insurance. Furthermore, industrial service fees were reduced by 52 percent in 2023 compared to 2022, equivalent to AED29.5 million. The inaugural edition of Make it in the Emirates Awards took place during the second edition of the Make it in the Emirates Forum, which saw the announcement of new local purchasing opportunities, investment projects, and financing packages. The ceremony celebrated visionaries, entrepreneurs, and innovators contributing to shaping the future of the UAE industry. The forum also unveiled the results of the Make it in the Emirates Startup Competition, aimed at showcasing business ideas and models promoting sustainable technological transformation and supporting future industries. Tech startups were able to highlight their experiences and innovations while directly connecting with investors. 

National In-Country Value Programme
The National ICV Programme achieved several milestones in 2023. The value spent by National ICV entities on local products and services increased by 17 percent to AED61 billion, while the value of green offtake opportunities reached AED200 million. The programme also saw a growth in the number of participants from government entities and major business institutions, bringing the total number of National ICV partners to 28. The number of National ICV-certified companies increased to 5,500, representing a growth of 22 percent compared to 2022. The programme contributed to an 80 percent increase in the number of Emiratis employed in certified companies from approximately 9,000 in 2022 to approximately 16,000 in 2023. The 'Industrialist Career Fair' was launched under the Industrialist Programme. The exhibition focuses on the industrial and advanced technology sectors and provided 500 job and training opportunities to local talent, with more than 400 Emiratis accepting job offers. 

Technological Transformation
To drive technological transformation in the industrial sector, MoIAT, in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, launched the ITTI in February 2023. The tool serves as a comprehensive framework for measuring the level of digital maturity and sustainability of factories, contributing to the development of a roadmap for technological transformation. Under the TTP and as part of the Industry 4.0 Enablement Centres initiative, aimed at promoting the adoption of advanced technologies in the industrial sector and building the technical capabilities of factories and individuals, a new facility was launched in collaboration with the UAE University. The centres help companies and individuals develop digital strategies and implement technological transformation projects. The addition complements the centre launched in 2022 as part of a collaboration with national defence conglomerate EDGE. The Industry 4.0 enablement centre also organised several initiatives like Leadership 4.0, Tours 4.0 and Pioneers 4.0, where more than 150 industry leaders participated. Under the TTP, the ministry has introduced several incentives to accelerate technological transformation in the industrial sector. These include a 5 percent bonus for National ICV companies, Golden Visas for Fourth Industrial Revolution talent, and grants provided by ADDED, using ITTI as part of the eligibility criteria.
Sustainable Industries In line with the UAE's objectives to achieve sustainable economic development, the ministry launched a set of programmes and initiatives in 2023 to support the implementation of best practices throughout the industrial value chain. One of the most significant initiatives is the Green ICV incentive, which falls under the National ICV Programme, and provides an additional 3 percent bonus score to companies that demonstrate a commitment to the programme's sustainability standards.
As part of MoIAT's efforts to advance the country's industrial ecosystem, the ministry continued to enhance quality infrastructure, attracting industrial investments worth AED380 million in the plastic recycling sector. This was a direct result of MoIAT's new technical regulations on the trade of recycled plastic water bottles. With the aim of accelerating technologies and innovations that support sustainable development, the ministry, in collaboration with ADNOC and Masdar, organised the first edition of the UAE Climate Tech forum.
In line with its support for COP28 as well as the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, the ministry achieved several milestones during the event, including announcing The Industrial Decarbonisation Roadmap, which adopts a phased approach targeting a 93 percent reduction by 2050. During its participation in COP28, the ministry hosted 43 climate tech startups at the Technology and Innovation Hub and Startup Village. Additionally, the ministry organised five specialised sessions to stimulate innovation, research, and technological development in collaboration with UNIDO, aimed at contributing to achieving sustainable development in the industrial sector as well as driving entrepreneurship and innovation. The ministry also saw progress in the industrial partnership with Egypt, Jordan, and Bahrain, aiming to drive the sustainable growth of the industrial sector. This initiative supports efforts to achieve self-sufficiency, as well as food and health security, while integrating value chains of priority and vital industries. The partnership also seeks to strengthen the role of the private sector in national economies and create new employment opportunities. By the end of 2023, the joint industrial investment projects launched under the partnership reached $3.3 billion.  

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