The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) signed three separate memoranda of understanding (MoU) with Etisalat, Emirates Steel and TAQA, the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, as the first three large national companies joining, to mark their commitment to the National In-Country Value (ICV) Program.
By joining the National ICV program, which was officially launched by His Excellency Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, part of the first set of ‘Projects of the 50’, Etisalat, Emirates Steel and TAQA will now prioritize local ICV-certified suppliers above other entities bidding for commercial contracts.
The move is part of the UAE’s wider National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, which seeks to increase the UAE industrial sector’s contribution to GDP to AED300bn by 2031 through supporting companies producing goods and services in The Emirates to fortify local supply chains. It also contributes to the objectives of the Projects of the 50, a series of developmental and economic projects that aim to accelerate the UAE’s development and establish its status as an ideal destination for talents and investors.
The signings were attended by His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, and Her Excellency Sarah bint Youssef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology.
The respective agreements were signed by His Excellency Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of MoIAT, His Excellency Engineer Hatem Dowidar, CEO of Emirates Telecom Group, His Excellency Engineer Saeed Ghamran Al Rumaithi, CEO of Emirates Steel Industries Company, and Jassim Hussein Thabet, Group CEO and Managing Director of TAQA, the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company.
“Today’s MoU signings mark an important next step for increasing the local content in the UAE’s industrial sector,” said His Excellency Al Suwaidi. “As we continue building on the momentum of Operation 300bn, the National ICV Program will be a crucial enabler of localizing and fortifying our robust supply chains.
“Under today’s MoUs, Etisalat, Emirates Steel and TAQA will prioritize suppliers based in the UAE for their commercial tenders, to redirect spending on industrial projects to local companies and increase opportunities for growth in the local market.
The ICV Program has a proven track record of success. First implemented on a local scale in 2018, the ICV Program helped redirect AED88 billion into the UAE’s industrial sector and created more than 2,000 jobs for Emiratis. It also stimulated entrepreneurship and innovation in the small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) sector.”
He added: “Now we are implementing it at the federal level, and we expect similarly impressive results with more than 42% of government and private sector expenditure to the UAE’s industrial sector and the supply chains serving it by 2025. For local suppliers developing Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) solutions and accelerating the integration of advanced technologies across the industrial value chain, National ICV certification will help unlock great opportunities to help contribute to the UAE’s rapid socioeconomic development.”
For his part, Jassim Thabet said: “TAQA continues remains committed to adding value to the local market. Our strategy to do this includes significant investments in Abu Dhabi, including, for example, investing an additional AED40 billion in the transmission and distribution of electricity and water by 2030.
“Through this partnership with the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, we will explore more opportunities to double the in-country added value in all our local and international operations,” Thabet added.
Eng. Hatem Dowidar said: “Etisalat is proud to be a partner of MoIAT’s ICV Program, to be a vital contributor to achieving its goals in support of the national industrial sector and local investments, and to help localize products and services that play a key role in the supply chain.”
Dowidar added: “Through its ‘Driving the Digital Future to Empower Societies’ strategy, Etisalat is keen on contributing to the acceleration of local economic growth and providing locally advanced technologies and world-class digital solutions through national capacities to accelerate the digital transformation of all entities and industries.”
Dowidar pointed out that Etisalat’s recognition as the fastest mobile network in the world and the strongest brand in the MENA region, it continues to harness advanced technologies such as 5G, the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), cloud solutions and more to elevate the performance of an array of by relying on the foundations of innovation and advanced technology in line with the sustainable development programs implemented by the UAE’s government.
For his part, Eng. Saeed Al Rumaithi said: “Emirates Steel’s signing of the MoU with MoIAT today is a significant step towards the diversification of our national economy through focusing on several vital sectors, most notably the UAE’s industrial sector. We value everyone’s efforts in promoting the National ICV Program, providing commercial protection for national industries and incentivizing local investments, which will significantly impact the industrial sector as it is one of the key pillars of a diversified economy. Enhancing local supply chains has become critical than ever, considering the disruptions experienced by global supply chains during the coronavirus pandemic. Emirates Steel continues its endeavor to improve the performance of the iron and steel industry in the UAE, in line with its vision to be among the best iron and steel manufacturers in the world.”
The MoUs with Etisalat, Emirates Steel, and TAQA add further impetus to MoIAT’s mission to propose and prepare policies, strategies, legislation, and programs that enhance local industrial content, generate in-country value and enhance the UAE’s global competitiveness.
The agreements also encourage collaboration between government entities and the private sector to galvanize the industrial sector. By implementing the National ICV program on all purchases and contracts, the three entities will also adopt the standards approved by MoIAT.
For its part, MoIAT will provide training programs to develop and upskill human capital as well as establishing a joint action committee to evaluate the impact of the National ICV Program.