Etihad Rail, EDGE and Shurooq Join the National In-Country Value Program

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Abu Dhabi, UAE: As part of the country’s efforts to extend the National In-Country Value (ICV) Program at the federal level, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MOIAT) has signed memoranda of understanding with Etihad Rail, EDGE Group and Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), which become the second set of companies to commit to the program launched in support of the UAE’s industrial sector.

The signing ceremony was attended by His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Her Excellency Sarah bint Youssef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology. His Excellency Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, MoIAT Undersecretary, His Excellency Faisal Al Bannai, CEO and Managing Director of EDGE Group, His Excellency Marwan bin Jassim Al Serkal, Executive Chairman of Shurooq, and Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail, signed the MoUs.

The MoUs are designed to enhance cooperation between the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, federal and local agencies and major national companies in order to achieve the goals of the National In-Country Value program. The program seeks to redirect public- and private-sector procurement to the local economy and enhance the role and development of the national industrial sector. The National In-Country Value program is in line with “Operation 300Bn”, the national strategy for industry and advanced technology that aims to boost the UAE industrial sector’s contribution to GDP.

The memoranda with Etihad Rail, EDGE Group and Shurooq follow those signed in September with Etisalat, Emirates Steel and TAQA.

Major industry boost

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, HE Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, emphasized that “the signing of the memoranda of understanding represents a big boost to the program following the first set signed last September. It is a further testament to the opportunities the program offers partners and suppliers alike, which are supported by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Aldar, among others.”

The MOIAT Undersecretary added: “The second set of entities participating in the program has diverse activities and capabilities, from Etihad Rail’s infrastructure to Shurooq Authority’s specialty in developing projects as well as enabling and encouraging investment, to EDGE Group, which owns and manages multiple activities in advanced defense industries, technological transformation and innovation – all of which are priority sectors in the strategy of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology.”

HE Al Suwaidi indicated that the National In-Country Value Program will enhance the capabilities of local suppliers holding a National In-Country Value Certificate through the redirection of more than 42 percent of government and participating private-sector procurement by 2025, helping business expansion and operational improvement.”

His Excellency Omar Al Suwaidi noted that the National In-Country Value Program is a key initiative that complements other programs and initiatives related to the development of the industrial sector, notably UAE Industry 4.0, which aims to accelerate the adoption of the applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the financing solutions offered by the Emirates Development Bank and Etihad Credit Insurance. It will also help achieve the goals of “Operation 300bn” and raise the industrial sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP to AED300bn.

Diversifying capabilities

For his part, His Excellency Faisal Al Bannai said: “EDGE is proud to continue its strong relationship with the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, and now as part of the National In-Country Value Program.

“As a major pillar in the nation’s drive towards the greater use of advanced technology across all sectors, the program will allow EDGE, as a leader in this field, to generate in-country value by further cultivating, nurturing, and diversifying our sovereign capabilities, and our home-grown talent, so we can maintain a significant competitive edge and contribute significantly to the GDP of the UAE.

“We are supporting in multiple domains around industry 4.0 and play a key role in the development of local manufacturing by investing significant resources to ensure we create an environment for sustainable economic growth, establishing the UAE as a world-leading center for future industries, and promoting superior ‘Made in UAE’ products in global markets.”

National interests

For his part, His Excellency Marwan bin Jassim Al Serkal said: “Shurooq’s partnership and involvement in UAE’s National In-Country Value Program, which was launched as part of the ’Projects of the 50’ initiative by the UAE government, reflects on our commitment to further support and strengthen our national industrial sector – a responsibility shared by all national entities involved, which, in turn, strengthens the UAE’s global competitiveness and its economic diversification strategy.”

He added: “National In-Country Value program will play a crucial role in also increasing supply and demand for specialized products and services from local businesses and corporations, especially with the UAE government making great strides in boosting its national industrial sector and positioning it as one of the leading drivers for economic growth.”

Socio-economic development

Shadi Malak said: “This MoU aligns with our commitment to collaborate with relevant entities to implement the National In-Country Value Program, as per the standards set by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology. The Program contributes significantly to the socio-economic development of our nation and the objectives of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, which seek to transform the UAE into a regional hub for industry.”

He added: “We look forward to implementing the National ICV Program as part of the Etihad Railway Network project, which will support the national economy and reduce our dependency on imported priority materials. The Program will also accelerate the adoption of advanced technologies, increase investment in research and development, and elevate the capabilities of local talent, all of which are in line with our efforts to enhance the economic infrastructure of the UAE and build a sustainable talent pool.”

Policies and Strategies

The memoranda with Etihad Rail, EDGE Group and Shurooq will add further impetus to MoIAT’s mission to put forward policies, strategies, legislation and programs that enhance local industrial output, generate in-country value and enhance the UAE’s economic competitiveness.

The agreements also encourage collaboration between government entities and the private sector to galvanize the industrial sector. By implementing the National ICV program on all purchases and contracts, the three entities will also adopt the standards approved by MoIAT.

To implement the program, the ministry will provide training programs, certify personnel, and facilitate coordination across the industrial sector. The program’s national committee, which includes MoIAT alongside a group of federal and local agencies and national companies, will evaluate and establish the requirements for implementing and supporting the program. The Ministry will also facilitate expediting operational procedures in the industrial sector and encourage coordination, to enable the optimum collaboration between sector entities.

About the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology:

The UAE’s Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), established in July 2020, is mandated with strengthening the UAE’s industrial sector, specifically by accelerating the adoption of advanced technologies and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) solutions across the value chain.

MoIAT has three overarching goals: Strengthening the UAE’s industrial base, ensuring in country value, and raising the competitiveness of local industries. By enhancing the contribution of advanced technology, the Ministry will support the country’s sustainable economic growth, and ensure GDP contribution from the industry sector. 

The Ministry will draft policies, laws and programs to create a world-class industrial development framework for the nation that will help attract foreign direct investment, boost In-Country Value creation, support national entrepreneurship, drive job creation, and boost exports of ‘Made in UAE’ products.

From encouraging the establishment of industrial complexes to raising local capacity in advanced technology, the Ministry will accelerate industrial development in a bid to drive economic growth, diversification, value retention and national self-reliance.