The UAE is committed to implementing its strategy of supporting priority industrial sectors such as heavy industry and boosting their role in the country’s economic development, said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology.
Innovation, sustainability and foresight are pillars of the industrial sector’s growth, he said on Sunday while visiting the Jebel Ali headquarters of Gulf Extrusions.
The ministry would continue to support industrial companies in attracting foreign capital and consolidate the Emirates’ position as an attractive global destination for new investment and industries.
“The UAE gives great importance to all national industrial projects,” Dr Al Jaber said.
“It is part of our desire to develop an environment that contributes to enhancing their success in line with the UAE’s efforts to raise the participation rate of the industrial and advanced technology sectors in the national economy, as well as enhance the UAE’s attractiveness to global investors.”
The UAE, the Arab world’s second-largest economy, plans to increase the contribution of the industrial sector to the country’s economy in the next 10 years to create jobs and attract international investment.
Last year, the country announced Operation 300bn, which aims to more than double the contribution of the industrial sector to the country’s economic output to Dh300 billion ($81.68bn) by 2031, from Dh133bn in March 2021.
FDI is key plank of the strategy along with dedicated financing and in-country value programme that will direct spending towards local products and suppliers. Overall, Operation 300bn aims to support 13,500 small and medium-size enterprises in the next decade.
“The UAE has become a major destination for global industrial companies and for investments in industrial and advanced technology, and the ministry plans to further develop the industrial sector by delivering advanced infrastructure, flexible and accessible finance, an enabling legislative environment for companies and businesses,” Dr Al Jaber said on Sunday.
“Today, we are helping national companies and factories attract global industrial projects by providing the appropriate environment and solutions to support their growth, development and progress towards promising new horizons in the future.”
Dr Al Jaber’s visit to Gulf Extrusions – one of the world’s leading manufacturers of aluminium extrusion products – is part of the ministry’s strategy of direct communication with companies in the industrial sector.
This outreach programme includes discussions on ways to provide additional facilities for projects that support strategic plans and strengthen industry in the UAE.
Gulf Extrusions is the largest aluminium extrusion plant in the Middle East, with an annual production capacity of 70,000 tonnes, and also the largest aluminium-smelting site in the world. The company has not only acquired the largest share of the local market, but also exports its products to the rest of the GCC, wider Middle East, India, South-East Asian markets, Australia, Africa, Europe, Canada and the US.
It has undertaken projects including Burj Khalifa and Emirates Palace in the UAE, Kaust Research & Technology Park in Saudi Arabia and the Strata SE1 building in London, as well as the expansion of King Abdulaziz International Airport.
During the tour, Dr Al Jaber was briefed on the company’s expansion plans by Majid Al Ghurair, its managing director, and chief executive Christian Witsch.
“We highly appreciated the focused dialogue on how to increase the export shares of the UAE in the aluminium downstream industry and even more the very active ministerial engagement in making it happen in a very fast time,” Mr Al Ghurair said.