Manufacturing has long been a focal point for economic development. While many countries pursue policies that support manufacturing on a national basis, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) aims to develop strategies on an international basis.
Two weeks ago the group held a ceremony in Al Ain, the second largest city in Abu Dhabi emirate, to kick off a series of events that will lead to the Global Manufacturing & Industrialization Summit (GMIS) to be held in September 2016.
GMIS is an initiative by the UAE’s Ministry of Economy and UNIDO in collaboration with the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Manufacturing. Its goal is to foster the development of global standards for manufacturing and industrial innovation.
It will do this by bringing together representatives from governments, industries, and academia to “agree on a cross-national and cross-sector global manufacturing framework based on mutually agreed and beneficial standards. “
The issues the group will explore include:
- The relationship between low and high value added manufacturing activities.
- The social and employment issues surrounding manufacturing and related urbanization.
- The skill needs by manufacturing firms and how can they be created.
- The impact of incentives on manufacturing investment.
- Leveraging technology for innovation.
- How to integrate better SMEs into global value chains.
- How manufacturing and environmental concerns can be aligned.
The event, which was held at the Strata Manufacturing facility owned by Mubadala, included over 200 public and private sector delegates.
“Strata is an illustration of developing our economy, moving away from a dominant industry, offering major benefits to our people," said Sultan Bin Saeed Mansoori, the UAE’s Minister of Economy.
"It is also welcomed by its major clients as a significant contributor to their global and regional development strategies," he added. " By disseminating successful experiences worldwide, we believe GMIS will accelerate development of similar initiatives across the world. We have a long way to go, but this is what is so exciting. By winning global support and demonstrating the inherent benefits for governments, corporations, and civil society, GMIS can enhance global manufacturing and make industrial innovation a global reality and force for a better tomorrow.”
Also during the event, it was announced that UNIDO entered into an agreement with the Republic of Guinea to assist the development of the country’s industrial and manufacturing economy. Under the agreement, UNIDO will provide policy advice to the African nation and support it with research and studies to develop its manufacturing and industrial sector in a way that creates substantial job opportunities whilst preserving the local environment.
President Condé said the Guinea agreement builds upon the UAE’s success in establishing policies for industrial innovation and diversification.
“Guinea’s economy must become balanced so that we are not at the mercy of commodity pricing – as is the case with any country which is overly reliant on commodity exploitation.
"The solution is diversification. We must diversify into new industrial options, so that our GDP can grow not just because of increased commodity prices or enhanced production, but because it has developed new value propositions that are adjacent or separate to existing economic drivers.
“Developing economies have to have the courage to move away from what they know and grasp the opportunity to develop something new. By being in this aerospace factory today I can say that the UAE has been rewarded for its courage.”