The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and Emirates Defence Companies Council have signed a preliminary agreement to bolster local defence industries and promote exports.
The agreement signed on the sidelines of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, which is under way in Abu Dhabi, is aimed at empowering small and medium enterprises in the defence sector and enhance their performance through a package of incentives and other measures.
It will also help SMEs secure procurement contracts from major national defence companies, while providing flexible financing solutions through Emirates Development Bank, the Ministry said on Wednesday.
The agreement “aligns with the objectives of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology (Operation 300bn), to enhance partnerships and co-operation with public and private sector entities and SMEs by providing incentives and enablers to attract industrial investments under the Make it in the Emirates initiative,” said Omar Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary in the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology.
The UAE, the Arab world’s second largest economy, is aiming to grow the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the country's gross domestic product to Dh300 billion ($82 billion) by 2031, from Dh133 billion in 2021. It is also encouraging companies to manufacture products locally as part of the Make it in the Emirates initiative.
The collaboration “provides a significant boost to EDCC's efforts to assist UAE defence companies to build their businesses and capabilities in accordance with worldwide best practices and to promote UAE industries in global forums,” said Mona Al Jaber, chairwoman of EDCC.
The incentives provided under the agreement include long-term leasing, free lease periods, supportive incubators, and smaller units that are ready to be occupied by tenants.
The Ministry is also partnering with Tawazun Industrial Park and the Emirates Development Bank to provide new financing solutions to support the UAE's defence industry, it said this week.
As part of the preliminary agreement, the Ministry and the Tawazun Industrial Park will provide incentives to attract industrial investments to the park, while the Emirates Development Bank will offer flexible and competitive financing solutions, such as green financing, financing capital expenditure, and financing start-ups and SMEs.