The UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tawazun Economic Council, the UAE defense and security industry and engineering and R&D programs enabler, national news agency WAM reported.
The MoU confirms Tawazun’s participation in the National In-Country Value (ICV) Program, joining a number of other leading national entities and companies to support the growth of the UAE’s industrial sector.
The MoU will enhance cooperation between Tawazun and the Ministry to achieve the objectives of the program, which redirects the procurement policies public- and select private-sector entities to the national industrial sector and spur growth and prosperity. The program was launched as part of the “Projects of the 50” initiative, and also supports the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, which seeks to transform the UAE into a regional and global industrial hub.
The signing ceremony was attended by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Sarah bint Youssef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology. The memorandum was signed by Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani, CEO of Tawazun Economic Council, on behalf of Tawazun, in the presence of a number of officials and stakeholders.
A Path of Development Al Suwaidi highlighted that the National ICV Program is part of the first batch of initiatives launched under the “Projects of the 50”, which aim to spark a new wave of economic growth. With a focus on sustainable development and the transformation of the industrial sector into a key contributor to the UAE economy, the program sets the nation on an ambitious path of development for the next 50 years following its Golden Jubilee.
“We will work hand in hand to develop and put forward policies, strategies and legislation to promote UAE products and boost local industrial output, in line with the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology that aims to enhance the industrial sector’s role in the national economy and boost its contribution to GDP,” Al Suwaidi said.
He explained that the ICV Program contributes to advancing development in the country by redirecting more than 42 percent of the procurement of federal entities and major national companies into national products and services. The program will increase the number of approved suppliers from 5,000 to 7,300 and raise the value of local spending from AED33 billion (US$ 9 billion) in 2020 to AED55 billion (US$15 billion) by 2025, which will help create a supportive environment for SME growth.
Al Suwaidi pointed out that adding companies such as Tawazun Economic Council, a major national enabler of the defense and security industries sector and a supporter of research and development in UAE SMEs, will enhance the program’s ability to achieve its goal of delivering comprehensive and sustainable development in the UAE’s industrial sector.
UAE leap Al Suwaidi highlighted that the UAE climbed five places in the 2021 United Nation’s Industrial Organisation’s (UNIDO) Competitive Industrial Performance Index from its 2020 rank. He noted the importance of coordination and cooperation between government institutions and the private sector to implement the ICV program in procurement procedures and contracts.
For his part, Al Hosani said that the Council is keen to support government efforts to enhance the national economy by empowering companies and industrial projects through the National ICV Program. He added that, since its establishment 29 years ago, the Tawazun Economic Council has proven experience in assisting local industries and contributing to the diversification of the country’s non-oil industrial base.
Al Hosani explained that the Council contributed to the establishment of more than 111 companies and investment entities in 12 vital sectors, including about 40 defense and security companies, in addition to creating more than 100,000 permanent job opportunities, some of which have been localized as part of an ambitious Emiratization program in the defense and security industries.
He stressed that Tawazun’s strategies align with the objectives of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology and the National In-Country Value Program, especially in light of the Council’s mandate to manage the procurement of the UAE Armed Forces and Abu Dhabi Police. The Council seeks to support local SMEs operating in strategic industries and elevate the wider national economy by enhancing capabilities, increasing efficiency and employment, and developing a sustainable defense and security sector.
The MoU aligns with the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology’s mission to propose and prepare policies, strategies, legislation and programs related to the promotion and encouragement of national products and in-country value. It also underlines the importance of coordination and cooperation between government institutions and the private sector to implement the ICV program in procurement procedures and contracts.
The Ministry will provide training to implement the program, while a National Committee has been established and recently approved by the Cabinet to oversee its most critical aspects. The committee includes the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and a number of federal and local entities and national companies. The ministry will also facilitate requirements for conducting business in the industrial sector and enhance levels of coordination to enable all parties to cooperate in its implementation.
The ICV program is one of the pillars of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology (Operation 300bn). It aims to support national industry by redirecting the procurement practices of government and private sector entities to local suppliers who hold the program’s certificate, which can only be attained by achieving certain criteria such as expenditure and investment in the country, Emiratization, and R&D.
The Ministry has identified 21 independent companies that will issue the National ICV certificate after evaluating the value of suppliers’ domestic spending on manufacturing, products and services, the volume of investment capital in the country, spending on employee salaries and expenses, the volume of exports, and other aspects.
Participants will receive priority during the award of contracts and procurements. The requirements of the certificate will help develop the operations of local suppliers, who will also be able to benefit from development funds provided by Emirates Development Bank. The program aims to achieve several objectives, such as expanding value chains, developing new local industries and services, stimulating and attracting investments, diversifying the economy, increasing GDP, and creating job opportunities in the industrial sector.