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National export development at the heart of Abu Dhabi Economic strategy 

Monday, September 06, 2010 News
Diversification of income sources and not relying heavily on oil revenues represent a strategic direction of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, stemming from keenness for achieving a sustainable development that is able to survive and keep an ongoing progress. In this context emerges the concern of Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, with the support and development of non-oil sectors, including export industries; a matter at the core of the strategy of the Department, and on top of its priorities.His Excellency Mohammed Omar Abdullah, Undersecretary of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, stated in a press statement issued by the Department today that Abu Dhabi Economy undertakes a pivotal role in restructuring the economy and the application of economic diversification policy in Abu Dhabi, where it works to improve the business environment and the supervision on planning operations, as well as the implementation of policies placed to achieve economic diversification, ensure the competitiveness capacity of the Emirate and to promote non-oil exports.His Excellency said that Abu Dhabi is moving towards the future in the framework of ambitious strategies for the advancement of the economic and social rise, on the basis of fundamental pillars represented in the diversified income sources and production base, in a manner that ensures securing a balance economic growth, able to continue.He also pointed out that the strategy of the Economic Development Department is designed to maximize the contribution of the different sectors in the economic development, and provide an environment attractive for investment, in addition to the provision of support and incentives to the various economic activities, focusing on industries with the export capacities in particular.Further, His Excellency noted that the strategy of economic diversification adopted by Abu Dhabi Government, as embodied in Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision, in which Economic Development Department is keen to implement significant facets, among which introducing a number of changes in the economy's overall structure, so that oil sector would lead the economic development process in parallel with the focusing on the other sectors and other activities, especially industry, tourism, and services, in addition to working to support non-oil exports in order to achieve an optimal combination of more balanced and sustainable sectors.Additionally, he said that in the framework of Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, which placed among its priorities opening new economic streams to achieve an overall growth overall, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is currently exerting intensive efforts to upgrade its capabilities and resources in order to raise the levels of national competitiveness in the various sectors, especially in industry sector. The Emirate has developed an integrated strategy that is focused on several dimensions, including the development and support of non-oil exports and the preparation of local products to penetrate and compete in international markets, with the objective of achieving high growth rates in commodity exports, which the Department endeavors to achieve through the sector of international economic relations, represented in managing the support of foreign trade and exports, where the Emirate targets, during the coming period, to increase the volume of non-oil exports in light of the unprecedented leap taking place in the establishment of modern facilities, plants and facilities, as well as the development of a regulatory environment.Abdullah also stated that in accordance with the vision of the Department as given in creating an ideal economic environment that ensures continued growth and provides promising opportunities for a developed society, and in harmony with its mission concerning the development of economic plans, along with working to improve business environment in Abu Dhabi, the Department strives to support and stimulate the various sectors, especially the promising ones, such as industry sector, specifically export industries, to which the Department pays a special attention in view of its great opportunities and economic feasibility.He then added that in pursuant to 2030 Vision, the International Economic Relations sector, represented by the Administration of Foreign Trade and Exports Support, is keep to enhance, encourage and motivate exporters from local institutions in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, especially export industries to which we attach great importance, in embodiment of the policy of diversifying income sources, and in line with Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision, which priorities include reducing the contribution of oil in the GDP of the Emirate and increasing the contribution of other sectors.His Excellency noted that the economic sectors and various companies operating in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi are benefitting from a range of export incentives and indirect support, to raise the growth rate of exports and encourage domestic producers to increase their competitiveness in international markets. The initiatives and activities undertaken by the Department of Economic Development, in coordination with the various government and private sector institutions, have played an important role in the development of national exports and the increase of their competitiveness in global markets.He pointed out that the Department focuses its efforts on helping local companies and factories to search for appropriate export opportunities, especially in neighboring markets, in addition to encouraging and assisting all local companies ambitious to enter or to expand their presence in foreign markets, through the organization of promotional trips and participation in foreign exhibitions, as well as organizing and attending economic forums, workshops and specialized seminars on export opportunities, in addition to other initiatives and events.Abdullah said that the high contribution of tourism, industry, trade and services sectors in the GDP of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi reflects the strength and rightness of its economic approach open to the world, interacting with it, confirming that such strategic attitude reflects an ambitious vision of the goal pertaining to the diversification of economy and sources of income. This approach also affirms that the development vision of the Abu Dhabi government, regarding the diversification of income sources is achieving great successes at all levels; such successes are continuously increasing and piling up over time, as certified by specialized international bodies. The Emirate has succeeded to diversify the structure of the non-oil exports, which confirms that the development aspirations in the Emirate are huge and unlimited, where ambition is always to step forward, in order to achieve the best in spite of the immense economic development achieved, with which Abu Dhabi has become a prominent development model, on both Arab and regional levels, in accordance with the a long-term strategic vision, so that we shall always look forward to prepare for the future.In the context of the efforts exerted by the Department to apply the policy of economic diversification on a large scale in the sector of non-oil industries, and in achieving the contents of Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, the Department of Economic Development works to promote Abu Dhabi's position as a model of economy based on the activation of the contribution of non-oil companies industries in the achievement of growth, on the long term, thus reducing the full dependence on oil as a primary source of income, through raising participation rate of non-oil sectors in GDP, to exceed 60% by the year 2030, of which export sectors represent 11%. Institutionalize Export WorkAs for his Excellency Hamad Al Mass, Executive Director of the International Economic Relations Sector at the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, he said: in the context of the Department's endeavor to support, develop and enhance export sector in light of a clear vision and according to a comprehensive and examined plan, the Department of Economic Development is undertaking the establishment of Abu Dhabi Exports Development Center, where this new institution shall be responsible for supporting non-oil exports and small and medium businesses, stimulating the demand for local products in international markets and the diversification of production and export base in the Emirate, through redesigning production structure and enabling national companies to face competition in domestic and international markets. The said Centre shall provide the companies with technical support and important economic data, encouraging them to adopt modern the state-of-art technology and best international standards. Among the other task which the Centre shall undertake is the organization of trade exhibitions, both locally and internationally, to discover new markets for the local products and industries, spreading and promoting for them under the slogan of Made in UAE. Further, the Department has completed a detailed database of local institutions in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as part of plans and steps the Department is taking to develop an integrated and coherent strategy to support the development of national exports.  Motivating services to exporters sector  Supporting the participation in local and international trade exhibitions and events. The organization of commercial missions to global markets. Raising awareness of the importance of export and the different aspects that affect the success of export process through courses, seminars and workshops. Participating in databases that help local institutions in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to take decisions towards export development. Publication of studies on potential export opportunities in global markets. Training programs for the development of institutions' export capacities. Providing advices to local companies on strategies to penetrate export markets. Identifying the barriers facing exporters, working in coordination with government bodies and other relevant bodies to reduce and resolve them.His Excellency Hamad Al-Mass added that in implementation of the vision and strategy of diversifying income sources, strengthening national exports, the international economic relations, as represented in Administration of Foreign Trade and Exports Support, has developed a number of services to exporters' sector from local institutions in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, with the aim of encouraging and assisting them towards developing their exports to regional and global markets, in addition to raising their level of knowledge and awareness on export-related issues, and the latest developments in this regard. Among these services is the support of local institutions to participate in local and international trade exhibitions and forums. In this context, the International Economic Relations sector has organized a number of important international exhibitions, such as Hannover MESSE held last April with the participation of a number of governmental and quasi-governmental bodies and local factories, where this fair has been an opportunity for plants to introduce and promote their products, as well as to exchange experiences and information, and initiate partnerships with the leading global manufacturers, not to mention getting oriented with the latest global innovations in the industry.Also, the Department has participated in Kenya Commercial Thirteenth International Fair, held in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, last June, where the booth of the Department included a number of Abu Dhabi factories and companies representing distinct economic sectors; such as medicines, metal industries, marble, and fertilizers.The participation of the Department in Kenya Commercial Thirteenth International Fair, which is considered the first of its kind and the second on the level of the African continent after Johannesburg Exhibition in South Africa, constitutes a great opportunity to introduce local products and discover the opportunities of emerging markets in Kenya and its neighboring countries, particularly in East Africa states, in addition to orienting the Kenyan market with the national products, especially the products of Abu Dhabi factories, highlighting their quality and global standards, given the importance of the African market as a springboard for local exports to neighboring countries, where Kenya is one of the key members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa COMESA. African markets are considered active consumer market because of the huge population density; with over 14% of the total world population.The Department of Economic Development is undertaking to participate in the China Import and Export Fair Canton Fair, scheduled next October, in addition to the participation in Malaysia Tenth International Exhibition scheduled next November, and the Middle East Manufacturing Exhibition MEMEX, hosted by Abu Dhabi in next November.On the importance of participation in specialized local, regional and global exhibitions, H.E. Hamad Al-Mass confirmed that the Department is keen to participate in these exhibitions, accompanying a number of institutions, companies and factories, stemming from its role in supporting and encouraging the national factories and companies, helping them to spread on the regional and global levels, especially in the promising markets, where local goods and products enjoy great acceptance. He added that the purpose of participating in the various exhibitions is to introduce the national products in foreign markets, especially the products of Abu Dhabi factories, highlighting their quality and global standards. Expansion in Foreign Markets His Excellency said that the Department is keen to support, encourage and stimulate local industrialists and domestic firms to expand to overseas markets, in implementation to the policy of diversification of income sources and increasing the percentage of the contribution of different sectors, including the industrial sector, in GDP of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.As part of the efforts exerted by the Department to promote national exports, visits of local trade delegations to the neighboring and global markets have always been organized; such as the promotional tour in Saudi Arabia organized by the Department on the first of last June, with the participation of a number of Abu Dhabi factories.He also added that promotional tours are considered a part of the plan undertaken by the Department to strengthen the presence of local industries in regional and global markets, noting that the selection of target markets for promotional tours is based on a careful study of the structure of these markets, and spotting their needs.Such promotional tours closely highlight the promising export opportunities in foreign markets, which include various economic sectors, as well as reviewing the commercial information required to increase the exports of companies and factories in Abu Dhabi, especially to those markets, getting to know their main imports, in addition to reviewing the set of rules and procedures governing importation operations in these markets. Also, such tours aim to orienting local manufacturers with export opportunities abroad and how to use them, including existing projects there, and the economic sectors that UAE companies can benefit from, which possess a competitive advantage. His Excellency explained that the role of the Department to support export industries focuses on a moral axis, represented in the provision of information, introduction campaigns, and markets awareness, as well as overcoming obstacles, facilitating the procedures for exporters, and the provision of information about the export needs of each market, while the second axis is given in the support through the Department's sponsoring some of the costs of participating in foreign exhibitions and promotional tours. Awareness and training programs for exporting factories:In context of the efforts exerted to support exports, the Department of Economic Development organizes, each year, several programs and activities associated with the development of exports; such as workshops, courses and seminars that aim at explaining the role of industry sector in the economic development in the Emirate, and the skills of export and national standards for export development and funding opportunities available for export development and communication skills with industrialists and manufacturers. In this context, the Department organized, in last March, a seminar on the opportunities of funding intra-exports, in collaboration with a number of local and regional bodies, including the Ministry of Finance, the Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones, Khalifa Fund for Project Development, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Islamic Trade Finance Corporation. Also a workshop on the communication with manufacturers is being organized annually, where direct communication with the manufacturers and exporters aims to spot their impressions of the services offered by the Department and the obstacles they face in the development of exports. Additionally, a workshop on the development of export skills has been held in cooperation with Khalifa Fund for Project Development and the International Trade Center, as well as a workshop National Specifications to Export Development, in cooperation with Emirates Standardization and Metrology ... and other workshops, seminars and meetings on the methods of national exports development.Also, the Department of Economic Development has organized field visits to local and international factories to get to know the best global practices in the field of export development and to promote cooperation in areas of common interests. The Department also examines, and analyzes export capabilities of firms and institutions, whilst providing them with any kind of help needed. DED provides local businesses with studies about export opportunities available in global markets, and relevant guidance on market entry and penetration strategies, and necessary action plans in this regard. In addition to providing and facilitating access to the best informative databases worldwide for export development, the Department aspires to relieve exporters off internal and external obstacles against exporting, in cooperation with government agencies and other relevant bodies.Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development (DED), jointly with other relevant export entities, prepare studies about export regulations and incentives, aiming at providing all the services required by and tailored for exporters.  The list of tasks carried out by the Department also includes: conducting necessary research and evaluations to measure export capabilities, preparing studies about the current conditions of global markets (e.g. their inherent capacity, and present foreign vs. domestic product competition) in the way that benefit exporters, advising local exporters on foreign trade affairs, providing training on export-related issues, and identifying internal and external barriers and problems standing against exportation while suggesting possible solutions, and seeking every possible help from relevant national and international entities, whether public or private. To increase the scope and reach of its services, DED is now providing its services online via its web portal (, where exporters can find and fill in an online form, under the Export Promotion Services section. This form will help saving exporters' time and efforts as they reach the Department's services in the least time possible using modern technologies. At DED, we warmly invite local manufacturers and exporters to visit us online and fill in the form to benefit from the range of services provided, and suggest others as well, which help develop and promote their exports. Busy Agenda in 2011According to Dr. Adeeb Al-Afifi , Director of foreign trade and export support at DED, the Department will be totally engaged with a busy Export Agenda throughout 2011. The brimming agenda features important events and exhibitions in which DED will take part, including: Hannover International Fair 2011 (Hannover Messe), Kenya International Trade Exhibition, China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair), Malaysia International Trade Fair 2011, and MEMEX 2011 (Abu Dhabi). In addition, DED will also organize trade visits for UAE exporters in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia. The Department will also organize a workshop about National Specifications for Export Promotion, in the Western Region, to add to the set of specialized services provided and to enhance the DED presence in this particular area in Abu Dhabi. The Department also considers holding a meeting for Young Trader and Exporter targeted at school students in the Region. As for Al Ain, there will be several training workshops conducted for plant managers. And, as the custom goes every year, the long list of activities will end with the Industrialist Forum 2011, which DED holds annually with its partners. Manufacturing and exporting entities are most welcome to participate in any of these events, and to know about them and how they will boost and promote their exports.The National Product gets more competitive‘By supporting the local industrial sector and local firms, we aspire to strengthen and increase the range of competitive advantages of their products, and help transporting them beyond Emirati lines,’ as Dr. Al-Afifi says. ‘The Department is currently directing its efforts towards opening channels with global institutions and chambers of commerce, and removing obstacles against the advance of Abu Dhabi products to other markets. That's why DED is focusing nowadays on opening new markets for local products where they enjoy comparative advantages.'‘The Department of Economic Development (DED) pushes hard towards the promotion and facilitation of exports from Abu Dhabi to new markets,' Dr. Al-Afifi added. 'We take every opportunity to organize promotional visits, participate in events and exhibitions outside Abu Dhabi, and get involved in other activities as well that all culminate in gaining full knowledge of and insight in recent changes in regional and global markets, and providing firms and companies in UAE, particularly those located in Abu Dhabi, with the best possible practices to deal with these changes and manipulate them for the creation of promising opportunities.'He also pointed out that the Department, in line with its initiatives aiming to boost and support the presence of local institutions' products in global markets, will intensively give more attention to stabilizing such exporting presence in neighboring markets, as well as regional and global ones.In the end, Dr. Al-Afifi highlights the Department's absolute commitment towards supporting national industries, especially those with exports orientation, while raising their degree of competitiveness in regional and global markets, in a manner conforming to the more general mission of DED in boosting economic diversification, widening production base, and moving away from the oil-dominated model of economy.
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