Abu Dhabi, UAE, March 31, 2017: The UAE is well-placed to tackle future challenges thanks to the strong foundations laid down by the country’s visionary leaders and the culture of innovation they have fostered, HE Mohammad Abdulla Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, told delegates on day three of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit in Abu Dhabi.
“I think that one of the most important factors in the success of the UAE is that we have leaders who created a nation, who believed in the ability of the people, but who also were realistic within their society and within their surrounding environment ,” he said at the keynote session, titled The Next 50 Years, where he was joined by HE Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, Executive Affairs Authority of Abu Dhabi and Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer, Mubadala, for a panel interview moderated by Simon Baptist, Group Chief Executive, EIU, The Economist.
“We live in a region that has leaders who lead countries, and leaders who take countries to places that even the population couldn’t imagine,” HE Al Gergawi said. “What has happened here from 1971 until now is a miracle; if you look at the country in the early 1970s, we barely had roads. Today, we have a highway in the sky, with the largest international fleet, globally. Sheikh Zayed believed that he had a mission; he looked after the people, he was very much open to new ideas … he was our role model for this.”
HE Al Mubarak said: “The leadership aspect is something that we’ve been blessed within the UAE, it is quite an incredible advantage. Who would have believed in the 1970s that to get to where we are today would have been achievable? This is because of leadership, because of the clear strategic vision that has always been there from day one. Many would say that our natural resources helped to speed up the evolution of the UAE, but resources without leadership means nothing can be achieved.”
Regarding the global economy, HE Al Gergawi sounded a note of caution: “The opening of regional markets is going to be good for us,” he said. “What worries me is not the opening up of our region, but the closing of some big global markets. Protectionism is what worries me. There is a bigger worry now in the global arena than there is across the region. We want regional economies to open up, and we believe that an open economy, regionally and globally, is good for us because we are very much a globalised nation.”
“We are in the mode of nation building. We are a young nation, but also we are very ambitious. I think there is tremendous confidence in our nation building ability, and our ability to build human resources, infrastructure, industry and so forth, as a nation. From a desert with no infrastructure, the UAE has become a global player. Whatever we do in UAE, we do it with a passion to create a platform for the region to look up to.”
On developing the workforce of the future, HE Al Gergawi said the UAE was at the forefront of transforming education, to ensure young Emiratis were taught the skills of the future: “Our education has to change. Coding is going to be implemented across every single grade in the UAE, so that every student who finishes high school will be a coder. The jobs of the future will be based on coding, so we’re looking at a holistic view, bearing in mind that technology itself will be changing.”
The inaugural Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit was held at the Paris-Sorbonne Abu Dhabi University, UAE, from March 27-30, 2017. A joint initiative by the UAE Ministry of Economy and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and co-hosted with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, the Summit is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The Summit is the world’s first global gathering for the manufacturing community, bringing together decision-making leaders from governments, businesses and civil society organisations to shape a vision for the sector’s future.
The Summit is a global platform for participating attendees to learn from best practices from across the world. This unprecedented global gathering will spark new ideas and set the stage for debate and action – addressing ways in which manufacturing can shape and reshape the world, integrating activities between developed and emerging markets, and delivering on social responsibility towards future generations. Leaders from the public and private sectors, along with representatives from civil society organisations, will gather to discuss global challenges within the manufacturing sector, looking specifically at six themes: technology and innovation; global value chains; skills, employment and education; sustainability and environment; infrastructure; standards, and stakeholder alignment.
About the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit
As the world’s first cross-industry forum, the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit is a global gathering for manufacturing minds. It is a voice and a venue for global manufacturing transformation. More than 1,200 delegates will attend, including world leaders, industry CEOs, policy-makers, specialist researchers and academics. The Global Manufacturing and Industralisation Summit will deliver (i) a voice for transformational ideas, (ii) a venue for the generation of new networks and cross-industry partnerships, (iii) a showcase for pilot projects arising from cross-industry research,
Global Agenda on the Future of Manufacturing
The conference will focus on the role of manufacturing in reconstructing the global economy and restoring global prosperity. Leaders from the public and private sectors, along with civil society representatives, will gather together to discuss global challenges facing the manufacturing sector. The discussions will focus around six themes: technology and innovation; global value chains; skills, employment and education; sustainability and environment; infrastructure; standards and stakeholder alignment. The participants will form working groups to identify concrete action plans and recommendations that outline potential solutions to global issues, as well as showcase best practices and case studies from across the world. To highlight an example of global issues, the inaugural conference will focus on the issue of economic migration, with the aim of establishing a manufacturing platform that will bring together countries facing emigration or immigration challenges with regional countries that seek to support economic reconstruction. These countries will work together with manufacturers and the wider United Nations network on restoring global prosperity.
The Manufacturing Expo
Capitalising on the huge presence of the global manufacturing community under a single meeting venue, the Manufacturing Exhibition will offer space to corporations looking to showcase their products, services and latest innovations or technologies that can further contribute to promoting global economic development. The Manufacturing Expo consists of four components: an exhibition showcasing the manufacturing capabilities of the host country; international pavilions showcasing the manufacturing capabilities and economic incentives of each participating country; an innovation exhibition that demonstrates the latest fourth industrial revolution technologies; and an event for SMEs to present their products and solutions to potential customers.
The Global Value Chain Market
The Global Value Chain Market (GVCM) is a business matchmaking platform dedicated to increasing regional and international partnerships and opportunities. The platform will provide networking and sourcing opportunities both online and onsite via pre-scheduled meetings with the vision of forging investment opportunities, commercial partnerships, and encouraging technological transfer and knowhow. The platform will enable countries to identify and meet global manufacturers to promote industrial development, and familiarise global manufacturers with targeted industrial activities in various countries. The GVCM will become a source of valuable information for global investments, providing insights on legislation and regulations, sovereign risk, political stability, and physical and logistical infrastructure.