The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), today opened the “Fourth Industrialists Networking Forum 2012”, which honored more than 40 industries and export companies operating in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, in appreciation and recognition of their cooperation and excellent participation in events and activities organized by ADDED in UAE and abroad during 2012.Following the honoring of participants in the forum, H.E. Mohammed Omar Abdullah, the Undersecretary of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, said that the fourth annual forum comes within ADDED’s keenness to network and communicate with its partners in the private sector, especially the exporting companies and industries, to enhance the strategic partnership aimed at achieving sustainable economic growth as defined by the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. The Undersecretary added that the forum provides an ideal platform to oversee the difficulties and challenges which face companies, consonant with the objectives of the Industrial Strategy 2011 – 2015, which was prepared by the Department of Economic Development and entrusted to “Abu Dhabi Industrial Development Bureau” to implement.H.E. Mohammed Omar Abdullah pointed out that the Department of Economic Development will always further communicating with industries and exporting companies, pursuant to the open door policy designed to address the needs and requirements of this important sector, and develop its capabilities to enable it to play a pivotal role essential to the achievement of the goals of the industrial strategy of the emirate.For his part, Dr. Adeeb Al Afifi Director of Foreign Trade and Export Support, said in his opening speech of the forum that the Department of Economic Development follows a clear approach based on the activation of constant communication with exporters and industries, and works towards the setting of an ideal business environment jointly with strategic partners, to help attain the high industrial status and targets marked by the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, Dr. Al Afifi said that the, Fourth Industrialists Networking Forum 2012, highly regards all efforts made by exporters and industries in the private sector; and their active participation in all activities and initiatives launched to promote and develop national industries.This joint cooperation has contributed to the success of the promotional activities and events organized or initiated by ADDED for export development, which amounted to 34 domestic and international events during 2012, compared to 21 activities held in 2011. These events included local and international exhibitions, trade delegations of local exporters to regional and global markets as well as seminars and workshops for exporters, Al Afifi added,Dr. Al Afifi pointed out that more than 200 companies benefited from these services in 2012, compared to 150 companies in 2011, stressing that ADDED will continue to develop services to meet the needs of these companies to expedite the development of national exports and ensure access to global markets.Al Afifi said: This year we have focused particularly on capacity building programs for exporters, in order to boost knowledge and raise awareness among exporters to promote and develop exports, where the number of workshops, seminars and training courses dedicated to this area reached 14, compared to 5 events held last year.Adeeb Al Afifi said that ADDED communicates with industries and exporting companies through intensified field visits to exporters and owners of SMEs, to closely follow up developments in products quality, address needs and requirements, help in promote their goods and provide logistics support for the development of exports to ensure access to regional and global markets.Abu Dhabi (GDP) grew by 6.8% at constant prices in 2011 and by 29.9% at current prices, while the industrial sector contribution to non-oil GDP increased to 11.5%, at current prices. The industrial sector achieved remarkable growth of 9.8% at constant prices in the same year compared to 2011 and marked an increase by 3% and at the level of the State; while at current prices it grew by 21.5% in 2011 Abu Dhabi non-oil exports through the ports of the emirate, continued to rise, as the preliminary figures cited an increase by 30% during the period January and October 2012, compared to the same period in 2011, registering a total of AED 13 billion.Re-export in 2012 rose by 22% during the period January to October, compared to the same period last year, marking a total of more than AED 12 billion.Dr. Adeeb Al Afifi commented on these figures which were released by Abu Dhabi Customs Administration (ADCA), saying, All these indicators confirm the soundness of Abu Dhabi government plans and strategies in fields of export development and promotion”. These figures expected to double during the coming period in the light of the sharp focus on development of industry and exports. The projects launched by the government to facilitate procedures and provide modern infrastructure, were crowned lately by the inauguration of Khalifa Port by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE.Dr. Al Afifi confirmed that ADDED will remain as the hub of all industrial firms and exporters, and will render all required assistance in coordination with relevant authorities to enable them excel in their activities on the federal and local levels.“Our meeting today underlines the importance of integration and effective communication between all partners in the emirate and the State. All successes that have been accomplished were not possible without the combination of all the efforts and the support of ADDED’s strategic partners rendered to export development projects in 2012.” Dr. Al Afifi said.Dr. Adeeb Al Afifi praised the fruitful and strong cooperation between ADDED and its partners including federal and local government agencies, Abu Dhabi Chamber, Ministries of Foreign Trade, Finance, and Foreign Affairs, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, Dubai Export Development Corporation, Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones and Abu Dhabi Customs Administration.In conclusion Dr. Adeeb Al Afifi expressed optimism about the next phase, anticipating more activities and events to boost Abu Dhabi exports, enhance business environment and eliminate all restrictions and constraints in collaboration with all stakeholders in line with Abu Dhabi ambitious vision. Mr. Badr Al Junaibi, Head of Foreign Trade and Exports Support Section, gave a presentation in which he noted that ADDED’s listed manufacturers and exporting companies in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, include3218 establishments; and that ADDED maintains continuous communication with these firms, to provide a spectrum of services, incentives, and facilities. Al Junaibi said that 81% of these establishments are in Abu Dhabi, 14% in Al Ain and 5% are in the Western Region. The Junaibi mentioned that ADDED always assesses the services it renders, by measuring the satisfaction of service recipients during their participation in the different internal and external events and activities organized by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development. It is noticed that the index of participation in exhibitions was on the rise, as well as participation in visits outside the State, in addition to the extent of benefit realized from seminars, workshops and development and rehabilitation programs.
Prior to concluding and during the forum’s open discussion, the representatives of industries and exporting companies focused on the need for more logistic and technical support and legislation, to enable more achievements by raising the level of quality competitiveness of product and accessing new export markets.The representatives of industries and exporting companies praised the important role played by the Department of Economic Development, and its Foreign Trade and Export Support Directorate, which has become the key reference with regards to support and fulfillment of requirements and needs; which as well reflects the genuine efforts of the government of the emirate in the development of this important sector, on which the Economic Vision 2030 laid great emphasis as a strategic objective to enhance the contribution of non-oil sectors in the GDP of the Emirate.