Abu Dhabi: A company in Al Ain was importing plastic bags from Africa without knowing the fact that there were 12 companies producing it in the UAE.
Another company in Abu Dhabi was purchasing its raw material from Sharjah although its next-door neighbour was producing the same material.
Problems such as there revealed in a survey conducted by Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development (ADCED), said Faris Nader, Senior Research Analyst at ADCED in an interview on the side-liens of the conference on “Linkages between Industries” organised ADCED and its partners.
He said those companies were incurring high costs for not knowing the local sources. Therefore, ADCED has launched a campaign titled “Know your neighbour” to make awareness among business about the importance of knowing fellow players in the local industry, Nader said.
The conference was organised as part of the campaign. ADCED has also started formulating a matchmaking database that compiles the details of companies operating in similar sectors that can depend on each other for their operations. “We have used data from Khalifa Fund, Zonescorp, and Khalifa Industrial Zone- Abu Dhabi (Kizad) to create the database.”
When companies depend on local sources, it raises investments in local economy and boosts contribution to GDP.
“From our studies and surveys we found that it is bit hard for companies to find fellow players in the industry. Therefore, they are very eager about this campaign,” Nader said. This will particularly benefit SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises).
At the conference, fifteen industrial companies — government owned and semi-government enterprises- presented the opportunities they offer for private sector companies. “As we know Abu Dhabi’s economy has a lot of investments from the government. However, the government is trying to get the private sector more integrated with the economy. Because private sector is the driver of a successful economy,” Nader explained. It is part of the industrial strategy of Abu Dhabi.
“We [ADCED] is trying to link between government and the private sector as part of our mandate.”
Asked about the role of SMEs and their access to financing, he said Abu Dhabi was adopting a culture of supporting the SMEs.
The conference was the first step towards promoting the idea of “know your neighbours”. “We see success in our mission. We may repeat this event next year also, “he said.