Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED) organized today a workshop to support foreign exports and trade at Masdar Institute. The event was attended by more than 40 companies operating in energy and renewable energy sectors within Abu Dhabi.
The workshop aimed to shed the lights on the objectives of Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, the Government’s drive to focus more on renewable energy, how this sector is related to the Strategic Five Year Plan and how to streamline investments in this respect.
HE Mohammed Omar Abdullah, the Undersecretary, DED, said, “We are gathering today to discuss the package of facilities offered by Abu Dhabi Government for investors and companies to expand their business and promote renewable energy sector projects. We are keen that all parties will join forces to establish long-term and active public-private sector partnership in the renewable energy.”
Highlighting the urgent need to develop renewable energy sources, HE stated that the need to seek for such resources has become one of the most important and persistent issues in the global energy agenda in recent years owing to rapidly-growing demand on energy worldwide, higher costs to explore oil and gas, conflicting forecasts for energy production and consumption, and instability in international energy markets.
HE the Undersecretary also stressed that Abu Dhabi Government’s drive to invest in renewable energy sector is well evident in the various projects undertaken such as the establishment of Masdar City in 2006 to be the catalyst for renewable and clear energy projects.
“Abu Dhabi has taken great leaps to optimize energy sector which is deemed to be a key factor to sustain development resources as conceptualized in Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. Indicators show that there is an increasing demand on various energy sources in Abu Dhabi and larger UAE, especially for electricity generation and water desalination”, he said.
“The UAE and GCC are keen to streamline research in oil alternatives, given that energy technology are key factors to achieve energy security, especially with International Energy Agency expectations that GCC will need extra 269 gigawatt of electricity by 2030”, he added.
The International Network for Renewable Energy Report for 2010 estimated that renewable energy accounts for 25% of total global energy, 18% of electricity supply, and that almost 70 million homes in the world use solar energy for warming water. The report highlights that between 2000 and 2009 investments in solar energy increased 100 times, wind energy experienced a 27% growth rate per annum between 2005 and 2009, and that 3 million jobs are provided by renewable energy sector worldwide.
In addition, the number of countries that set goals or policies to encourage investments in renewable energy went up from 55 to 100 between 2005 and 2010, many of them have set 15%-25% as a target energy rate generated by renewable sources by 2020.
Appreciating DED’s initiative to host this workshop at Masdar Institute, Mr. Ahmed Baghoum, Director of Masdar City, said that this is a launch pad for long-term and constant relations with DED to back up Abu Dhabi private sector companies promote and market their products in the international markets.
“The importance of this workshop is that it attracted Masdar’s partners from the private sector in the first of its kind activity aimed to support these companies and activate partnership with them”, he said.
“We are keen that Masdar will be a truly green city and a catalyst for clean cities that attract creativity and innovation in renewable energy and position its name as the international flagship that follows world-class sustainability standards whilst providing its local partners from the private sector companies and investors with all support”, he added.
“Abu Dhabi is keen to position Masdar as the epicentre for global gathering to discuss renewable energy issues and host bespoke conferences and exhibitions as well as the host of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) meetings as well as the centre for ministerial meetings for renewable energy and climate change”, Baghoum explained.
“We at Masdar City constantly endevours to promote business environment within the city to encompass on-going optimizing of commercial and online services, making it’s a more accessible and friendly environment for visitors and residents”, he reputation.
Aspiring to be one of the most sustainable cities in the world, approximately 6km2 Masdar City is an emerging global clean-technology cluster that places its resident companies in the heart of the global renewable energy and cleantech industry. Situated 17km from downtown Abu Dhabi, Masdar City is a high-density, pedestrian-friendly development where current and future renewable energy and clean technologies are showcased, marketed, researched, developed, tested and implemented. The city, which at full build out will house 40,000 residents and 1500 businesses, will integrate the full range of renewable energy and sustainability technologies, across a living and working community.
DED’s International Economic Relations Section presented attendees with services offered by Foreign Trade and Exports Support Directorate for the private sector with an aim to increase local exports to the regional and international markets. These services centres on four key pillars: promoting capabilities, accessing information, thriving exports, and consultation and research services, all of which are in line with Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 and its key priorities such as increase non-oil exports to account for 11% of the total GDP of the Emirate. Besides, it is in line with the mandate of DED as per Law no (2) for 2009 to develop and implement initiatives aimed to thrive exports of current and future companies in Abu Dhabi.
The presentation also highlighted programmes and services provided by DED to exporters, including participation in various trade local and international shows, organizing trade delegations to international markets, raising awareness of exports and exportation process through workshops, sessions and symposiums, accessing databases that allow local companies informed decision making methodology to grow exports, publishing reports and studies on potential exporting opportunities in the international markets, overcoming exporters’ difficulties and challenges, and working with other government entities and bodies to help solve them.