Scope for new UAE-UK partnerships to decarbonise industrial sector

Joint business council hosts one-day conference at GMIS to address industry's net zero challenges

Minister of State Ahmed Al Sayegh said decarbonising industry will be major feature of the UAE-UK Business Council’s work over the next two years. Silvia Razgova / The National
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UAE Minister of State Ahmed Al Sayegh said industry must change if the UAE and UK are to hit their net zero goals, with scope for future manufacturing, engineering and construction partnerships between the two countries helping to decarbonise the sector.

Mr Al Sayegh, who is also the co-chairman of the UAE-UK Business Council, a thought leadership forum, said there is “great potential for the UK and UAE to work together in addressing these challenges” as the Emirates looks towards the Cop28 environment summit in two years' time.

“The fundamentals of manufacturing, engineering and construction will need to change if we are to achieve the 2050 net zero goals, which both the UK and UAE have committed to,” Mr Al Sayegh said before a one-day conference hosted by the Business Council during the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit.

The six-day GMIS summit, hosted by the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and the UN Industrial Development Organisation, comes as the Emirates looks to diversify its economy and expand its industrial base to reduce its reliance on imports and global supply chains after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted world trade last year.

The Business Council’s event comes two weeks after the conclusion of Cop26 in Glasgow and two months after the signing of the UAE-UK Partnership For The Future Agreement and the Sovereign Investment Partnership between Mubadala and the UK Office for Investment, with £10 billion committed to the technology, infrastructure, life sciences and clean and renewable energy sectors over the next five years.

Lord Udny-Lister, co-chairman of the Business Council, said the UK is the world’s ninth-biggest manufacturing nation, and new technology is powering a transformation of this sector "every bit as profound as the first Industrial Revolution".

“This innovation is being directed primary towards developing net zero manufacturing, engineering and construction industries, and the UAE, which is also pioneering exciting new initiatives to lower the carbon footprint of manufacturing, aerospace and construction, is a natural partner of choice for the UK – both in terms of knowledge sharing and in fostering new commercial collaborations," he said.

The Business Council will now look to support new partnerships in these sectors, Lord Udny-Lister said.

During the GMIS event, experts, innovators and industry leaders from both countries will analyse how new technology can hasten the development of net zero manufacturing, and the approaches adopted by nations to address the skills gap in advanced manufacturing.

Badr Al Olama, head of the GMIS organising committee, said decarbonising the industrial sector is an area of great strength for both countries.

“The partnership between Rolls-Royce and Sanad, which goes back 10 years, is one such example of where innovation and knowledge sharing has boosted the aerospace sectors in the UK and the UAE," he said.

"As we start the countdown to Cop28, the UAE-UK Business Council will play an increasingly important role in fostering new bilateral industrial partnerships that will help us achieve our 2050 net zero ambitions."

Updated: November 24, 2021, 4:00 PM