Abu Dhabi: The UAE seeks to attract more than $70 billion (Dh256.9 billion) in industrial investments by 2025, a senior government official said on Monday.
The investments will help increase the share of the industrial sector in the country’s GDP to 25 per cent, up from the current 16 per cent, and ensuring the industrial sector will become the driving force in the country’s economic growth, Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said in a statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
According to Al Mansouri, the slump in global oil prices has not had any significant impact on the UAE’s development as the share of non-oil sectors in the country’s economy stands at 69 per cent of GDP. He added that the limited impact of oil was further evidenced by the Cabinet’s recent approval of the new budget.
Late last month, the Cabinet approved an Dh248 billion federal budget for the next five years, with the prime focus on education, social development and health, as the country bucks the regional purse-tightening trend. The budget for the next year was set at Dh48.7 billion.
“The UAE’s vision for the future revolves around a sustainable and innovation-based and knowledge-based economy in which qualified human resources play a major role. There are indicators that it is preparing for a significant industrial progress in the coming period, thanks to a higher degree of integration between national industrial companies and the development of new industrial sectors featuring innovation and the use of modern technology,” he said.
The emirate of Abu Dhabi is planning to launch its own industrial strategy later this year, the minister revealed, and noted that in June, Dubai launched the 2030 Dubai Industrial Strategy, aiming to evolve into a global platform for knowledge-based, sustainable and innovation-focused businesses.
The UAE government is also drafting legislations, including laws regarding foreign investments, to make investment in the industrial sector even more attractive, Al Mansouri said, stressing that the government provides all facilities to attract foreign investments to the country by enhancing infrastructure and creating specialised industrial cities.
Next year Abu Dhabi will hold a global summit hosted by the Ministry of Economy and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO, in collaboration with the Global Agenda Council for the Future of Manufacturing of the World Economic Forum, WEF, he said.
The Ministry has also launched 12 initiatives and 39 projects to empower the shift to a knowledge-based economy and promote innovation.
Through digital transformation, the Middle East companies could generate $16.9 billion in extra revenue every year between 2017 and 2021, and further earn $17.3 billion in annual cost savings and efficiency gains, Minister Al Mansouri noted, citing a recent report by PwC.
Demand for digital transformation is strong among the companies in the region, with most of them planning to invest four per cent of annual revenues in solutions related to digital operations.
That would amount to an investment of Dh42 billion on an average in digital transformation by companies in the region each year over the next five years, according to the report.