Industrial exports from the UAE recorded a 'historic rise' to reach approximately Dh120 billion ($32.6bn) last year, as 220 factories opened across the country, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology said on Wednesday.
The UAE's strong performance in the sector last year also saw the country advance five spots globally in the Competitive Industrial Performance Index issued annually by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. The country ranked 30th in 2021, up from 35th in 2020, making it the most competitive in the Arab world.
The ministry, responsible for implementing the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology launched by the UAE government in the first quarter of 2021, has achieved "several outstanding results within one year of its establishment", Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, said.
This has "supported the growth of the UAE’s industrial sector by contributing to its capabilities, competitiveness and attractiveness".
The Operation 300bn strategy aims to boost the industrial sector’s contribution to the economy to Dh300bn by 2031 from Dh133bn in 2021. It also seeks to support 13,500 small and medium enterprises over the next decade.
"The results confirm major advances in the national industrial sector, especially in terms of productivity, efficiency and competitiveness," the ministry said.
"This has been attained through accelerating its transformation by integrating advanced technologies and providing financial incentives and solutions through the Emirates Development Bank, the strategy’s financial enabler, alongside other facilities and initiatives."
The ministry also launched a financing initiative worth Dh10bn for priority sectors, Dh5bn of which is to help deploy advanced technology in the industrial sector. In 2021, Dh248 million was granted to finance such projects.
The UAE's national (ICV) programme, announced as part of 'Projects of the 50' to redirect spending by public entities and major companies back into the country's economy, circulated Dh41.4bn back into the local market last year. Close to 45 public entities and 13 major national institutions and companies joined the programme in 2021.
The programme also "responded to the increasing demand for efficient and competitive supply chains, the creation of 1,000 high-quality job opportunities for nationals, and the establishment of training programmes to upskill Emiratis", Dr Al Jaber said.
Technological solutions were a key focus for the ministry in 2021. The Fourth Industrial Revolution Programme (UAE Industry 4.0), an initiative to support manufacturers in the adoption of 4IR technologies, was launched last year.
The establishment of the Emirates Research and Development Council and the launch of the second session of the Mohammed bin Rashid Academy of Scientists also supported the industrial sector's growth.
“2021 witnessed a number of major initiatives and projects which aim to stimulate innovation in the industrial sector and accelerate the adoption of advanced technology, including the UAE Industry 4.0 programme and the advanced technology financing programme launched in partnership with the Emirates Development Bank," Sarah Youssef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, said.
“As part of the UAE Industry 4.0 programme, the first edition of the Leaders 4.0 initiative was also developed in co-operation with the Mohammed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, with the aim of training 100 CEOs and leaders from the industrial sector by 2022. The first cohort included 30 participants from the industrial sector.”