Ministers from the UAE, Egypt and Jordan have met for the first time since signing an industrial partnership last week to boost sustainable growth.
At the tripartite higher committee meeting, that was held virtually, the officials discussed a road map for enacting initiatives and explored opportunities for joint investments to help bolster Arab economic integration, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology said.
They also discussed timeframes and measures to gauge performance.
The partnership focuses on integration and leveraging competitive advantages, and the unique capabilities of each of the three countries, said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology.
“The partnership will be the nucleus of broader collaboration that contributes to building a more sustainable economic base for each member country," he said.
“The professionalism and enthusiasm demonstrated by the teams from each country reflect our shared will to accelerate the implementation of the partnership’s mechanisms.
“We are all committed to enabling positive economic returns in the medium and long term, the necessary procedural steps, feasibility studies, the immediate implementation of projects, the adoption of an integrated industrial partnership strategy and private sector entities to implement their own investment project.”
The partnership has identified five sectors of mutual interest: petrochemicals; metals, minerals and downstream products; textiles; pharmaceuticals and agriculture; and food and fertilisers.
A $10 billion investment fund has been allocated and will be managed by Abu Dhabi's holding company ADQ.
The meeting also approved the appointment of Omar Al Suwaidi, undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, as secretary general of the tripartite higher committee.
During the meeting, ministers discussed mechanisms for expanding the partnership by adding new members, accelerating economically feasible opportunities, enabling co-operation and integration, and co-ordinating with government entities and the private sector.
The steering and executive committee, which has the task of connecting private sector entities with investors, will meet next month to review progress.
Under the agreement, investors will benefit from “competitive advantages” provided by the three countries, such as logistics, infrastructure and the availability of raw materials, Dr Al Jaber said.
“These advantages can help to ensure robust supply chains, stimulating sustainable economic growth and enhancing value-added industries for the economies of the UAE, Egypt and Jordan.”
The UAE, Jordan and Egypt collectively have a gross domestic product of about $765 billion and more than 60 million young people, Dr Al Jaber said.
The deal comes as the UAE strives to support the growth of the local industrial sector, enhance its role in stimulating the national economy, and double its contribution to gross domestic product to Dh300bn ($82bn) by 2031.