Abu Dhabi's Department of Economic Development is in the process of implementing a new initiative encouraging small and medium-sized companies to promote locally-made products, particularly healthcare supplies that could help to stop the spread of Covid-19. It also urged local and federal government entities to buy locally-produced supplies.
The initiative is aimed at boosting the use of locally-made products, while encouraging firms to sell them to government entities, according to the department's under-secretary, Rashed Al Balooshi.
The department has already begun working with local companies producing personal protective equipment, buying 250,000 surgical masks of a total of 1.1 million that are being supplied to federal and local governments.
Mr Al Balooshi "called on all government entities to take advantage of these locally- produced supplies which were made by companies operating and registered in Abu Dhabi", the department said in a statement on Saturday, adding that such a move would boost the private sector's contribution to the emirate's economy.
The department is developing a list of local businesses operating in Abu Dhabi that produce healthcare and precautionary supplies that local, federal and semi-government bodies can buy from.
This would not only support local firms and ensure their continuity, it would also contribute to government efforts in curbing the spread of the virus, the statement said.
SMEs make up more than 94 per cent of companies in the UAE and provide jobs for over 86 per cent of the country's private sector workforce, according to the Ministry of Economy.
The number of new economic licences issued in Abu Dhabi grew 63.9 per cent last year, with commercial licences making up the bulk of these, according to statistics produced in March by the Abu Dhabi Business Centre. A further 80,477 licences were also renewed, bringing the total number of economic licences registered in the emirate last year to 172,577.