UAE's in-country value programme to create up to 120,000 jobs by 2031

Programme to contribute an additional Dh51-Dh54bn to local GDP over the next decade, government officials say

Local manufacturers are being encouraged to diversify and develop their production. Jaime Puebla / The National
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The UAE's national in-country value programme will create up to 120,000 jobs, localise supply chains, attract more investment and raise the private sector's contribution to local gross domestic product, government officials said.

It is expected to create between 90,000 and 120,000 jobs in the UAE and contribute an additional Dh51 to Dh54 billion to local GDP by 2031, Abdallah Al Shamsi, assistant undersecretary for the Industrial Growth Sector at the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, said at a press conference in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

The programme aims to redirect Dh55bn of government spending on goods and services into the local economy by 2025, up from Dh39bn in 2020 when the unified ICV certification was created, he said.

The ICV programme aims to boost the growth of UAE-based industries by redirecting 50 per cent of government spending on procurements and tender contracts into the national economy by 2031, Mr Al Shamsi said. Total spending by federal and local government entities on goods and services reached Dh134bn in 2019, or 9 per cent of local GDP.

“The private sector is the biggest beneficiary of the ICV programme and one of our biggest goals is to increase the contribution of the private sector in our GDP,” Mr Al Shamsi told reporters on the sidelines of the event. “This is a programme that definitely helps the private sector to grow.”

The UAE's ICV programme, part of the Projects of the 50 that was launched in September, will be implemented in all federal entities and across 12 national companies by the end of 2021. The government initiative is designed to stimulate demand for local products and services, encourage local manufacturers to diversify and attract foreign direct investment in the domestic industrial sector. It aims to boost economic growth and support local industries by redirecting higher portions of public spending into the national economy.

Companies can apply for an ICV certificate and participate in tenders held by public entities. The application process includes issuing an audited financial statement based on IFRS standards, filling out an ICV template form, seeking an evaluation from one of the authorised certifying bodies and get the ICV certificate.

Once they've applied for an ICV certificate companies are rated through a score based on how much they have invested and hired within the country, with a higher score giving them a more competitive edge in government tenders.

“This is for any company, foreign or UAE-based, that has a desire to do more in the UAE and get access to procurement, contracts and tenders with entities that are implementing the ICV programme,” Mr Al Shamsi said.

One aim is to incentivise more international companies to move their operations, services, manufacturing, assembling and factories to the UAE, which would qualify them for a higher ICV score, making them more competitive to win contracts.

“Foreign companies can definitely participate and get their ICV certificate but if they want their score to be higher and they want to be more competitive in the tenders, they'll need to do more in the UAE: invest more, hire more and spend more on UAE goods and services,” he said.

The programme is also focused on ensuring SMEs are “at an advantage” to win local tenders.

“We make the cost of the ICV certificate very low for SMEs and we work with entities that are implementing the ICV to see how we can ensure that tenders do not only focus on big companies but also give SMEs a chance,” Mr Al Shamsi said.

The ICV programme will be implemented under the supervision of the Ministry of Industry & Advanced Technology.

Entities participating in the programme include Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Mubadala, Aldar, Etisalat, Taqa, Edge, Emirates Steel, Emirates Global Aluminium, Etihad Rail, Tawazun Economic Council and Shurooq.

Updated: December 21, 2021, 1:05 PM