The UAE’s industrial sector has made huge strides over the past four years and is now the country’s third-largest economic producer, according to Dr Mohammed Khalfan bin Kharbash, UAE Minister of State for Finance and Industry.
Addressing the Dubai Industrial Investment and Partnership Forum (DIIPF), the minister said the industrial sector contributed nearly 20 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product last year.
He said the sector was worth Dh73 billion by the end of 2007 – a 66.4 per cent increase on its Dh44bn value in 2003, when the Government began prioritising industry as part of its long-term economic diversification plan. The number of manufacturing units in the country stood at 3,852 at the end of last year – a 37.8 per cent increase on the 2003 total of 2,795 units.
Dr Kharbash said the industrial sector is now a key performer in the UAE Government’s strategy of delivering a balanced economy with no single sector dominating the landscape.
“We will continue to foster progress in the industrial sector for the long-term benefit not only of the economy, but also for sociological reasons as this sector can deliver fresh job and career opportunities for nationals,” said the minister.
“The Government is now working to ensure global best practices are prevalent throughout the industrial and financial sectors.”
The DIIPF has been organised by the Dubai Export Development Corporation (DEDC) in conjunction with the Department of Economic Development and the Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting.
The forum is aimed at promoting industrial investment, subcontracting and partnership with special focus on the small-to-medium sector.
Addressing the forum, DEDC’s Chief Executive, Sa’ed Al Awadi, said the Dubai Government has recognised the challenges of global competition and is moving quickly to address them. “Hence, the rapid launch of new initiatives and the creation of laws to ease the process of upgrading the quality of goods produced in Dubai, as well as the development of systems to stimulate their export potential,” said Al Awadi
“There is no doubt that the whole community will benefit from these efforts as they will provide more jobs for future generations, increase local output and achieve high economic growth rates for the country.”
DEDC is an autonomous organisation under the directive of the Government of Dubai. Its vision is to be a world-class model in assisting and facilitating exporters, by creating an enabling environment for exports, with the aim of enhancing the competitiveness of Dubai as a preferred trading partner.
Industry added 20% to UAE GDP in 2007