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Abu Dhabi industrial bureau out to ramp up job creation

Abu Dhabi: The Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) aims to create job growth of 8 per cent to 9 per cent in Abu Dhabi’s industrial sector by 2020.

It also hopes to increase skilled staff by the same rate, in addition to increasing the number of companies operating in the sector by 4 per cent.

Ayman Al Makawi, IDB director-general, said the bureau will focus on five key areas, namely; the general policy embodying the strengthening of legal and regulatory frameworks; the adoption of a long-term vision; governance and activating the IBD’s role in separating legislative, regulatory, developmental, operational, and investment functions, in addition to enhancing transparency and speeding up decision-taking relating to the sector.

The IDB has identified 13 industrial sectors to be developed to help the emirate achieve the industrial economic goals within the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.

Areas of industrial focus include building materials, petrochemicals, metals engineering, iron and steel, plastic, aluminium and food industries, renewable energy, oil and gas, the semiconductor industry, packaging, aviation and the transportation equipment.

The IDB was created as an affiliate of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and tasked with the implementation of the emirate’s industrial strategy, planning and organisation of industrial activity, as well as issuance, renewal, amendment and cancellation of industrial licenses.

According to Al Makawi, some of the difficulties currently faced by industrial investors in Abu Dhabi — which the IDB aims to overcome — include the difficulty of moving between several government agencies to find out requirements, the submission of a number different applications forms, the completion of frequent procedures, poor communication and cooperation between many entities and a lengthy period of time required to start manufacturing operations.

Al Makawi stressed the keenness of the IDB during the next phase to provide a single point of contact to facilitate requirements and reduce organisational procedures for industrial investors in coordination with involved entities, to advance services and reduce time required for industrial licensing.

According to an agreement with the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, the IBD is the competent authority responsible for matters relating to the environment, health and safety within the industrial sector.

Manufacturing activity in Abu Dhabi, in real GDP terms, reached 6.1 per cent in 2012, while the value addition of manufacturing activity at 2007 constant prices, increased to Dh41.5 billion in 2012, compared to Dh35 billion in 2007 — an annual growth rate of 3.3 per cent on average during the period (2007-2012).

The growth rate of activities in 2012 stood at 9.6 per cent compared to 2011. This rate was nearly three-fold the average annual growth rate during the period (2007-2012) and twice the growth rate of Abu Dhabi’s real GDP in 2012.

The contribution of extractive industry activity to the real GDP of Abu Dhabi dropped to around 25 per cent in 2012, compared to 52.9 per cent in 2011 as a result of the growth of non-oil activities at a greater rate than the growth of oil and gas activity in 2012. This is an indicator of how successful the emirate’s diversification policy has been.

Extractive activity value-addition at constant 2007 prices rose from Dh339.6 billion in 2011 to Dh352.6 billion in 2012.