Dubai’s GMIS 2021 calls for accelerating digitisation and green transition in Arab countries

Dubai - Doaa A.Moneim, Monday 22 Nov 2021

Arab countries, including Egypt, need to accelerate digitisation and the transition to a green economy in order to increase their economic growth and boost their industrial sectors, according to Badr Salim Al-Olama.

Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Ruth Portar at GMIS2021 s session, Technology investment partnerships: Driving 21st century growth Lord Gerry Grimstone, the UK Minister for Investment.

Al-Olama is the executive director of the UAE Clusters Unit within Mubadala’s UAE Investments platform and the head of the Organising Committee of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS2021).

He made his comments in an interview with Ahram Online on the sidelines of the GMIS2021, which kicked off on Monday in Dubai.

Al-Olama also said that economic integration between Arab countries, especially in the industrial sector, is needed to facilitate their recovery from the pandemic.

He added that the digital gap should be bridged in Arab countries for the sake of fast-tracking their economic growth.

“The industry sector’s contribution to the GDP of Arab countries is very low and is not enough compared to advanced countries. There really is a significant opportunity at the present to direct public and private investments to the industrial and manufacturing sectors, as these fields create more job opportunities and enable the GDP in Arab countries and developing markets to grow,” Al-Olama told Ahram Online.

During the first day of the GMIS2021, CEO of Dubai Industries and Exports Said Al-Awadi said that developing zero-carbon technologies is a priority for the global manufacturing and industrial sectors if there is a willingness to begin repairing the planet from the impact of climate change.

“At the COP26, we saw that developing zero-carbon tech is vital for the manufacturing sector. The sector must be part of delivering the targets set out in Glasgow,” said Al-Awadi.

He also outlined a three-part process to enhance the performance and efficiency of the industrial and manufacturing sectors, which include embracing automation and big data — the tools of the Fourth, and later this decade, the Fifth Industrial Revolution — developing zero-carbon tech in the industrial sector, and engaging more women and young entrepreneurs in the sector.  

Meanwhile, President of Mauritania Mohamed Ould Ghazouani stressed that developing countries and African markets’ industrial sectors are weak despite the potentials in these markets that are supposed to attract more investments.

He attributed that to these countries’ fragile infrastructure — especially in the communication and digital sectors — poor access to finances, and the heavy dependency on exporting raw materials.

“To deal with that, African countries have made improving industrialisation and manufacturing a top priority in the 2063 African Agenda. As the continent works to achieve this, it is making significant efforts to upgrade its infrastructure, especially in the transportation and communications sectors and stimulating the private sector to play a role in them, as well as creating a free continental zone,” Ould Ghazouani elaborated.

This year’s GMIS2021, which is running from 22 to 27 November, gathers over 250 world leaders from governments, the private sector, and civil society to explore the leading technological, industrial, and policy trends that will shape the post-pandemic response to the industrial sector to forge a more sustainable future for all. 

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