ICV Programme to enhance UAE’s competitiveness: Ministers and officials

ABU DHABI, 6th September, 2021 – UAE ministers and officials have said that the UAE’s In-Country Value (ICV) Programme, which was launched by the UAE government as part of “Projects of the 50”, will help drive industrial development and consolidate its position as a leading global advanced industries hub and one of the world’s most attractive countries for foreign direct investment.
In exclusive statements to Emirates News Agency (WAM), they said that the ICV programme, which is being implemented under the supervision of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, enhances UAE’s global competitiveness and supports the country’s transformation into a more flexible and sustainable economy.
Commenting on the ICV Programme, Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, said that the programme represents a pioneering national initiative that aligns with the vision of the country’s leadership for sustainable socio-economic development, and supports the UAE’s preparations for the next 50 years.
“The programme’s focus on transforming the process of industrial development will undoubtedly play a key role in driving the UAE’s global competitiveness in a post-pandemic world and mark it out as a global leader for developing advanced technology and Fourth Industrial Revolution solutions,” said Al Marri, adding that the programme will enable local industrial and production companies by fostering a localised supply chain and opening-up new opportunities for them. “Through the programme, local industrialists can expand their business activities in direct cooperation with the government and private sector,” he said.
The Minister of Economy referred that ICV will also enhance the attractiveness of the national industrial sector to foreign investment by raising the quality and competitiveness of products made in the UAE. “This, in turn, will boost the growth of the country’s exports and enhance its reach into regional and global markets connected to the UAE. Ultimately, all of these aspects of the programme will combine to accelerate the diversification of the national economy as we seek to increase the country’s non-oil GDP.”
“Designed, as it is, through an advanced and innovative model of partnership and integration between the government and the private industrial sector, the programme focuses on important criteria such as the value of investments coming into the UAE, Emiratisation, and R&D,” Al Marri said, adding that by focusing on these crucial areas of economic development, the programme will offer significant competitive advantages to participating companies, and localise the UAE’s vital supply chains, while creating jobs for thousands of Emirati men and women across the country.
The Minister pointed out that the programme provides a welcome boost to the UAE’s efforts to enhance its economic resilience, as it transitions to a knowledge-, innovation- and advanced technology-based economy.
He highlighted that the ministry is eager to strengthen cooperation and partnership with the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology during the next phase of its mission, to support the National ICV Programme and help achieve the objectives.
From his part, Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said that the programme will open-up new possibilities for entrepreneurs and SMEs in the UAE and encourage them to innovate and adopt smart industrial and manufacturing technologies, while building sustainable partnerships with international industrial players that can lead to vital knowledge and technology transfers.
Al Falasi pointed out that the programme will serve as an engine to stimulate entrepreneurship in future industries that are central to boosting the UAE’s industrial growth. It will encourage innovators, inventors and SMEs to participate and contribute to building a knowledge-based economy, driven by advanced technologies and innovation, which will play an important role in achieving the goals of the UAE Centennial 2071.
From his side, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said that the programme will boost the industrial sector’s contribution to the national economy, in line with the directives of the UAE’s leadership to diversify the economy and boost its non-oil GDP.
“The Programme will also help improve the industrial sector’s productivity, performance and sustainability by enhancing the capabilities of local industrialists through advanced technology adoption which will elevate their role as a key driver of our socio-economic development,” said Al Zeyoudi, noting that the programme will provide strong impetus to transforming the UAE’s industrial sector into one of the core pillars of the country’s future economy that is based on knowledge and innovation.
“The programme will undoubtedly boost the competitiveness and presence of UAE products in global markets, which will also enhance the country’s attractiveness to foreign direct investments in sectors underscored by advanced technologies. In all, it will boost our position as a global destination for top industrial talents and reaffirm our role as a global testbed for innovative solutions,” he added.
Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, asserted his ministry’s commitment to providing essential support to the In-Country Value Programme, driven by its keenness to play its role in the government work system and required partnerships with the private sector to achieve the programme’s strategic goals.
“The programme is a key incentive to promoting economic growth and diversification in the labour market. It encourages companies to boost knowledge and technology based economic activities as well as investments in research and development (R&D),” Al Hamli said, adding that the programme will help create job opportunities for national cadres, develop them professionally, refine their abilities and skills, and empower them in the strategic economic sectors, especially the industrial sector.
Al Hamli said that his ministry will provide incentives and privileges to establishments with excellent Emiratisation through the Tawteen Partners Club. This will encourage such companies to continue implementing Emiratisation strategies and plans and support its interests.
Hanan Ahli, Acting Director of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (FCSC), said, “The In-Country Value Programme is considered an important booster to support the national industry and economic activities in the UAE, and the industrial sector receives the attention of UAE’s leadership as it represents an important tributary to the national economy.”
The manufacturing sectors contributions to UAE’s non-oil GDP by 11.6 percent, and industrial sector offers job opportunities for citizens and residents, as the percentage of the number of workers in the sector exceeded 9.2 percent of the total number of employees in the UAE, according to the FCSC’s Labor Force Survey.
Ahli added that the programme enhances the national industrial sector, which has solid foundations that enable it to reach globalisation by adopting innovation, advanced technologies, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution solutions. “The UAE ranked first in the Arab world and 11 globally in the “Investment in Emerging Technologies Index” in the Global Talent Competitiveness Report 2020. In addition, UAE ranked first in the Arab world and 18th globally in the “Best Use of Technology Index” in the Global Talent Competitiveness Report 2020 published by INSEAD,” she added.
From his side, Jasim Husain Thabet, TAQA’s Group CEO and Managing Director, highlighted his company’s commitment to creating value in its home market, saying that TAQA’s strategy includes significant investment here in Abu Dhabi, in electricity and water transmission and distribution business, where the company will invest an additional AED40 billion by 2030. “Through this partnership with the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, we will explore further opportunities to maximise in-country value throughout our domestic and international operations,” Thabet explained.
Mohamed Al Jneibi, Chief Procurement Officer at Aldar Projects, said, “At Aldar, sustainability is a key priority that we continue to embed across all activities in our businesses. The ‘In-Country Value’ programme (‘ICV’) has played a significant role in accelerating these efforts. Through the programme, we ensure that majority of our contracts are prioritised towards local contractors, consultants, suppliers – including SMEs – to ensure maximum reinvestment into the UAE economy.
Al Jneibi added that the ICV programme is designed to create social and commercial benefits that contribute to the UAE’s sustainable economic growth and development.
“It promotes GDP diversification, creates job opportunities for UAE Nationals in the private sector, and helps in creation of a sustainable local supply chain. At Aldar, we encourage all companies to join the ICV program,” he continued.

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