Top officials of the member countries during the meeting in Cairo on Monday.
The second Higher Committee meeting of the Industrial Partnership for Sustainable Economic Development has kicked off on Monday in Cairo in the presence of Dr Nevin Gamea, Egypt Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Yousef Al Shamali, Jordanian Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply.
At the meeting, the Higher Committee announced and welcomed the Kingdom of Bahrain as a new member of the Partnership represented by Zayed Al Zayani, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Bahrain.
Bahrain, a major producer of raw aluminum and iron ore, will increase the partnership’s total industrial manufacturing value add from $106.26 billion to $112.5 billion. Bahrain boasts a strong industrial sector with more than 9,500 companies and 55,000 employees and $4.3 billion in industrial Foreign Direct investments.
The Partnership aims to establish large joint industrial projects, create job opportunities, contribute to increasing economic output, diversify the economies of the partner countries, support industrial production and increase exports.
The Higher Committee also reviewed a presentation by the Executive Committee, delivered by Abdullah Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Industrial Development Sector at the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, Dana Alzoubi, Secretary General of the Jordanian Ministry of Industry and Supply as well as Hatem Alashry, Advisor to the Egyptian Minister of Industry and head of the Executive Committee.
As a result, the Higher Committee Shortlisted 12 projects worth $3.4 billion to move into feasibility studies. In total, the Executive Committee received 87 industrial project proposals focused on fertilizers, agriculture and food. In the next phase, the Partnership will focus on the metals, chemicals, plastics, textiles and clothing sectors.
In her remarks, Dr Nevin Gamea stressed the significance of the industrial partnership in confronting the economic consequences of the global crises and highlighted the importance of the private sector engagement in sustainable development for the Arab World.
“This partnership is key to ensuring value and supply chains, reaching industrial self-sufficiency, and creating more jobs,” said Gamea, adding, “We welcome Bahrain to join this partnership, which will help maximize the benefit of the industrial capabilities of the four countries.”
She added: “To make use of this initiative, partners shall exchange science and technology expertise, set up industrial partnerships, and take advantage of the partners’ markets to promote multilateral trade.”
“Egypt’s government is very keen to do what it takes to support this partnership and pave its way so that it can achieve its targets,” she added.
Meanwhile, Yousef Al Shamali said: “Today’s meeting is a continuation of the executive committee meetings held over the past two days and a culmination of weeks’ long sectoral workshops of experts in the fields of pharmaceuticals, agriculture, fertilizers and food.”
Jordan, he pointed out, is keen on supporting all aspects of joint Arab work, as instructed by King Abdullah II, and today’s gathering shows how the leaders of the three countries share a common vision about joining efforts to create a comprehensive economic project.
He further noted that Bahrain’s joining in the partnership will give a boost to the initiative, accelerating the pace of achieving the desired economic integration.
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber highlighted the UAE’s commitment to the partnership: “The vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, emphasizes the role of cooperation, collaboration, synergies and integration as key enablers for economic development and growth that support stability and prosperity. We aim to leverage the partnership’s combined strengths, competitive advantages, and capabilities to help build a strong foundation for sustainable economic growth.”
He continued: “Today, we welcome Bahrain as a vital and dynamic addition to the partnership. Bahrain’s industrial sector plays a crucial role in sustainable economic development. I would also like to thank the Arab Republic of Egypt for hosting this second meeting of the Higher Committee.”
Dr Sultan Al Jaber concluded: “The Industrial Partnership for Sustainable Economic Development is open to any party who wishes to contribute to the development of the industrial sector, promote integration across industries, and leverage the competitive advantages offered by the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, and now Bahrain.”
In his speech, Zayed Bin Rashid Alzayani conveyed the greetings of His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister, and his appreciation for the Kingdom’s admission to the partnership. He explained that the partnership reflects a strong will to promote industrial integration between Arab countries and the world, while seeking to achieve sustainable industrial development.”