A Steel plant in RAK. A manufacturing expo will feature at the summit. Picture for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Gulf News archive

Abu Dhabi: A UN-backed industrial summit, which kicks off in Abu Dhabi on Monday, is aiming to build comprehensive and sustainable industrialisation in the country and is seeking to formulate a vision for the industrial sector.

The four-day Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) being held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is the first global gathering of more than 1,200 businessmen and government officials.

A manufacturing expo showcasing the manufacturing capabilities of the UAE will also be held along with the event.

The summit is being jointly organised by the UAE Ministry of Economy and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

Ali Majid Al Mansouri, Chairman of the Department of Economic Development, Abu Dhabi, said the summit provides the UAE with a political platform to build global alliances to achieve strategic goals in the industrial sector.

“With its global partnerships with the world’s leading industrial organisations, the GMIS will give the UAE a unique opportunity to benefit from this network in its international and external industrial investments while also providing a platform for the UAE to consolidate its global role in leading the fourth industrial revolution applications and exporting them worldwide,” he said in a statement to WAM.

Plenary sessions

Six teams and eight industry groups were formed to categorise the summit outputs in a way that will help Abu Dhabi’s transformation to the fourth Industrial revolution, he added.

The summit will begin with an opening ceremony on Monday evening at Paris-Sorbonne University but the main event and the plenary sessions start on Tuesday with a keynote address by Japan’s Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry, and other executives including David Shark, deputy director general of the World Trade Organisation, and Bernard Charles, vice-chairman, chief executive officer of Dassault Systems.

Nick Earle, senior vice president, global operations, Hyperloop One will also be speaking during the event.

The event takes place as protectionist rhetoric grows in the US and Gulf states focus on diversification of their economies owing to drop in oil prices.

According to the UAE Economy Minister, Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE is aiming to increase the contribution of the manufacturing sector to 25 per cent by 2025.

The UAE-based companies like Emirates Global Aluminium, Strata Manufacturing, Emirates Steel, Abu Dhabi Ship Building, Tawazun Industries and industrial zones like Khalifa Industrial Zone Authority (Kizad) and Jebel Ali Free Zone are playing an important role in diversification of the economy and boosting the manufacturing sector in the UAE.

Boost to economy

Ayman Al Makkawy, director general of Industrial Development Bureau, said Abu Dhabi is preparing an industrial strategy that will be unveiled soon. “The new strategy will be a road map to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s position in global value chain across many industries. It will link large industries with small and medium enterprises to give a boost to the economy,” he said.

Abu Dhabi has considerable industrial base including Kizad, Industrial city of Abu Dhabi known as Zones Corp and Tawazun Industrial Park for setting up defence industries. A number of industries are attracted to Kizad located between Dubai and Abu Dhabi including food processing industry, manufacturing and logistics. Tawazun Industrial park has Tawazun Precision Industries, Nimr Automotive, Caracal among others.