Mohammed bin Rashid launches ‘Operation 300bn’ to advance UAE’s industrial sector

Published: Friday, April 2, 2021

ABU DHABI: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, recently launched “Operation 300bn”—the United Arab Emirates’ new strategy seeking to expand the industrial sector’s contribution to the national GDP from the current AED133 billion to AED300 billion by 2031.

Leading the strategy is the UAE’s Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology which will roll out programs and initiatives to support 13,500 industrial small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the Emirates news agency WAM said.

Focusing primarily on future industries that implement advanced technology and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) solutions and applications, the strategy will work towards advancing the national economy and contributing to the sustainable development.

It aims to increase the in-country value through improving and promoting local products on a global level and building an attractive business environment for local and international investors to boost productivity. The plan provides a competitive package of facilities and incentives with the aim of positioning the UAE as a global industrial hub that attracts talents, developers and experts from all over the world.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum also launched the Unified Industrial Brand Identity under the slogan ‘Make it in the Emirates’. As an extension of the UAE Nation Brand, the new campaign stems from a vision based on distinction, uniqueness and the efforts to build the credentials of UAE products by enhancing their quality and global competitiveness.

Ultimately, every product made in UAE will comply with the highest international quality standards and have its rightful place among the best international products.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, “the industrial strategy will achieve a giant leap in the UAE’s industrial sector to become the main driving force of the national economy and lead the journey of our next 50 years with greater confidence and speed.”

He added, “the industrial sector is the backbone of large economies, and the UAE has effective resources, policies and leadership to build a global economic base.”

He added, “the industrial sector in the UAE has made great strides. With competitive national products we take pride in, our mission is to double our success, increase the in-country value and build an export ecosystem that enhances the global competitiveness of local products.”

“We aim to launch new industrial projects in a futuristic framework that creates out-of-the-box solutions to address challenges in a timely manner.” He stressed that “strengthening the industrial sector will establish our economic stability, global status and the future of our next generation.”

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said, “the industrial strategy will empower our national industries and lead the country’s efforts to advance the industrial sector as a major driver of the national economy over the next 50 years.”

Presenting a giant developmental leap, he noted, the industrial sector is an essential source of economic diversification, job creation and a wider sustainable development.

He noted, “We need to unify efforts of national teams to achieve the objectives of the strategy and support the country’s sustainable economic diversification efforts.”

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan stressed on the necessity to empower youth to adapt to the rapidly-growing technological advancements and harness their talents to expand vital future industrial sectors, Artificial Intelligence, space technologies, energy and pharmaceuticals. These efforts, he said, ensure a sustainable economic growth to build a safe and secure future for the next generation.

“The UAE has succeeded in establishing its status as an economic capital in the region and an ideal business landscape with world-class digital infrastructure, services, security and competitive investment benefits.”

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan added, “the industrial strategy establishes an ambitious objective to double the industrial sector’s contribution to the GDP and increase the in-country value. The comprehensive national programme builds on the country’s investment benefits to lead a sustainable economic development in line with national priorities for the post-COVID-19 phase.”

He concluded, “the industrial strategy brings together the efforts of government and private sectors to spearhead the country’s developmental sectors towards our next 50-year journey and build a future country based on a stable and solid economy.”

Operation 300bn was launched in a special event held at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; and His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, among other delegates and officials.

Operation 300bn: Giant Industrial Leap

Presenting the Operation 300bn, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, affirmed that the strategic national programme aims to deliver sustainable economic growth for the UAE’s industrial sector by enhancing its competitiveness at a regional and global level.

He said, “The strategy aims to increase the industrial sector’s annual GDP contribution to AED300 billion by 2031, while boosting productivity, creating new jobs, enhancing local skillsets, and increasing national competitiveness.”

Operation 300bn will support more than 13,500 SMEs by 2031, as they are major drivers of shaping a productive industrial sector and sustainable economy. More than 33,000 industrial enterprises operate in the UAE, comprising 95 percent of small and medium-sized businesses.

The volume of spending on Research and Development in the industrial sector will increase from AED21 billion, constituting 1.3 percent of the GDP, to AED57 billion in 2031, bringing the contribution to the GDP to 2 percent.

Operation 300bn will focus on promoting existing industries, building on their successes, and enhance their contributions to the GDP, thereby adding value to the UAE’s export ecosystem. At the same time, it will focus on developing a new industrial ecosystem, primarily high-tech industries and 4IR ventures that form the basis of a knowledge-based economy.

Al Jaber noted, “the strategy will build on the solid foundation of the UAE’s core competencies and unique advantages as a regional logistics, energy and manufacturing hub to enhance the country’s competitiveness at a regional and global level. It will significantly accelerate the process of economic diversification already underway in key industrial sectors, where the UAE already has an established presence and expertise, including energy, petrochemicals, plastics, metals and manufacturing; sectors that reinforce the country’s resilience and reduce dependence on global supply chains, such as food, agriculture, water, and healthcare; and industries of the future, including space, biotech, medi-tech and other sectors that are enabled by 41R technologies.”

Future industries that the strategy will focus on are: Space technology, medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, clean and renewable energy (hydrogen production), machinery and equipment, Rubber and plastic, chemicals, metals, advanced technologies manufacturing, electronics and electrical gadgets and food and beverage.

Al Jaber also highlighted that “Among its key initiatives, the new strategy is set to significantly increase in-country value and redirect funds into the local economy. Furthermore, it will drive the development of specifications and standards to ensure the continued competitiveness and value of locally manufactured products fit for global export markets.”

He addressed the current challenges facing the industrial sector including the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, the rapidly-changing technological sphere that calls for a swift adaptation, and the rising regional transformations in line with the new globalisation trends that produce a critical need to achieve self-sufficiency in viral industries and prepare for emerging challenges that may hurdle the supply chain.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled countries around the world to redefine their priorities. The UAE has demonstrated great resilience and agility in its post-pandemic recovery. In order to ensure the UAE’s continued competitiveness, and maintain its strong international standing, as the country embarks on preparations for the next 50 years, Operation 300bn is focused on knowledge, innovation, advanced technology, and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) solutions and applications. The strategy will significantly reduce the UAE’s reliance on imports in vital industries as it supports the building of new capabilities in future industries,” he added.

“Implementing this strategy successfully will require a concerted effort from all stakeholders to collaborate and integrate their capabilities. Increased cooperation and coordination between the public and private sector will positively impact the growth and development of the industrial and advanced technology sectors.”

Vision and Objectives

Seeking to maximise the industrial sector’s revenue, Operation 300bn is a nationwide action plan to strengthen enabling mechanisms and tools, and build the most resilient logistical and legislative framework of its kind. The plan provides an unprecedented package of facilities, incentives and customs exemptions with the aim of attracting foreign investments to the industrial sector, creating a world-class industrial ecosystem.

Under the Unified Industrial Brand Identity, the strategy aims to transform the country’s industrial products into a reflection of the UAE’s identity, built on the pursuit of excellence through unified national standards, and highlight the unique features and superior quality of products made in UAE. It also aims to enhance the competitiveness of national products, increase their recognition, encourage demand and promote them internationally.

As a national strategic framework, the Identity serves as a guarantee, protection and support framework that subjects all UAE products to the same specifications based on the highest standards of quality and excellence. It also provides exceptional support mechanisms to ensure product conformity with national and international quality standards, enhancing their local, regional and global competitiveness.