A discussion under way during the virtual meeting of the Industrial Cooperation Committee of the Gulf Cooperation Council on Thursday. WAM
Dr Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, chaired the virtual meeting of the Industrial Cooperation Committee of the Gulf Cooperation Council on Thursday.
At the 47th session of the committee, which advances the objectives of the GCC Unified Economic Agreement, Dr Al Jaber reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to the continued coordination, consultation and exchange of ideas and expertise to support joint GCC economic actions.
He also praised the collective efforts so far to ensure business continuity across all sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting attendees discussed a set of priority issues including efforts to combat coronavirus, and how to optimise and leverage the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in order to empower the industrial sector.
Dr Al Jaber said “Today’s multiple global challenges highlight the need for better coordination between Gulf nations. By acting together, we can redefine our collective future in the post COVID landscape, taking into consideration the priorities that best serve our interests, and achieving our goals for growth, progress and prosperity. The key enablers of success include industrial integration, adopting joint programmes and projects in strategic and vital industrial areas as well as tapping into our unique advantages, experiences and strengths as GCC countries.”
He added “There are many measures we can adopt to help develop trade between GCC countries. These include enhancing the benefits of the Unified Economic Agreement; fully adopting the imperatives of the common Gulf market and customs union; working to expand the GCC market; finding new opportunities for exports; and encouraging the private sector to establish profitable, value add projects. In addition we should convene conferences to encourage dialogue on how to enhance the national industries of GCC countries.”
“At the same time, it is important to prepare against future crises by further integrating our supply chains so that we can secure inventories of vital materials such as medicine and food, as well as enhance our cooperation on research and development in these sectors,” he said.
He also highlighted that the Fourth Industrial Revolution offers great opportunities for cooperation and growth beyond the pandemic, saying: “in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, GCC industrial sector is well-placed to benefit from 4IR thanks to innovative solutions in AI, robotics, biotechnology, the Internet of Things and more.
He added, “Comprehensive industrial development will promote in country value and economic diversification and assist in protecting the environment through better resource and energy efficiency. In addition, it will have positive social impacts such as increasing workplace safety, enhancing public services, upgrading infrastructure and contributing to building smart cities.”
During the meeting, he shared the UAE’s experience in developing a national strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Artificial Intelligence, appointing the first Minister for Artificial Intelligence, and most recently the establishment of the Ministry for Industry and Advanced Technology, which aims to focus on industrial development, increasing in country value, and raising the efficiency and competitiveness of national industries.
He highlighted the UAE’s practical experiences and expertise in the field of artificial intelligence and the deployment of AI solutions, as well as initiatives to enhance in country value.
He called for coordination and cooperation in these vital areas in a way that contributes to achieving the common interests of the GCC states, highlighting opportunities for cooperation in the fields of education, training and research and development between universities, institutes, and the government and private sector across the GCC countries.
Other agenda points at the meeting included: greater integration of trade practices for steel products; discussion of the results of a joint coordination meeting between the Permanent Committee for Combating Harmful Practices in International Trade and stakeholders from Ministries of Industry, Finance and Administrations of Customs; and empowering the Technical Secretariat’s Office to combat harmful practices in international trade.
The goals of the Industrial Cooperation Committee include discussing key issues for the industry sector, furthering economic integration, facilitating joint training, sharing ideas and experiences, and unifying industrial laws and regulations.
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber recently chaired a virtual meeting of the Industrial Coordination Council with the participation of Sarah Bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, and members of the Council. The mandate of the Industrial Coordination Council, established in 2016, includes developing a national strategy to boost the UAE’s industrial sector; setting key performance indicators and following up on implementation; proposing initiatives to boost cooperation; and sharing best practice among government entities as well as the private sector. The Council will collaborate with various federal and local government entities and the Industrialist Union Society to update legislation for the sector.