ICV Program: Two years of industrial growth
The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology has launched several programs under the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, Operation 300bn. One of MoIAT's flagship initiative is the National ICV program launched as part of the Projects of the 50 to drive economic diversification and GDP growth.
The program aims to redirect public spending into the national economy, with a focus on the industrial sector, to create quality job opportunities for Emiratis, enhance the competitiveness of UAE products in regional and international markets, attract more foreign investment, and support the integration of 4IR solutions.
Since its launch two years ago, the program has boosted local spending significantly, increasing by 25% year-on-year in 2022 to AED 53 billion. The program also features a new digital platform with innovative features such as automated issuance of ICV certificates, saving up to 40% in time and costs, and utilizing blockchain technology to verify certificates. The platform also provides a comprehensive dashboard displaying key data on spending, investment, employment, and revenue for certified companies.
To contribute to the development of national SMEs in auditing, 5 new audit firms including 3 national firms, have joined as certifying bodies, bringing the total number of program audit firms to 26. The program aims to achieve 5% localization in the certifying bodies and 20% localization in the ICV audit teams for 2023.
The program's success is not limited to large companies but has benefited the whole industrial and technological ecosystem. Since its launch, the program has focused on enhancing demand for national products, services, and suppliers, promoting the capabilities of local companies, attracting more foreign investments, and empowering SMEs and free zones with competitive and flexible financing, incentives, and enablers.
In 2022, the ministry launched the Make it in the Emirates Forum under the theme of 'Invest, Partner, Grow'. The forum saw major national companies affirming their commitment to providing AED 110 billion in potential purchase agreements for industrial opportunities across 11 sectors, presenting more than 300 products for local production.
By the end of 2022, the number of companies with valid certificates exceeding 4,500, with their local spending reaching AED 77 billion and their investments within the UAE amounting to AED 280 billion.
In addition, feasibility studies were conducted for 47 products targeted for local manufacturing, and 19 letters of intent were signed to invest AED 3.1 billion in products targeted for local manufacturing to increase self-sufficiency. New financing solutions worth AED 3.14 billion from the Emirates Development Bank and AED 1.3 billion from Etihad Credit Insurance were introduced to empower industrial companies and enhance the sector's export potential.
In 2023, the program will focus on enhancing the performance of startups and SMEs, creating more quality jobs for citizens in the private sector and industrial-related services, and supporting national talent development initiatives. This year will also be about upskilling and training national talents, ensuring they get skilled jobs in the industrial sector.
As part of this, we have launched the Industrialist Program to enable national cadres to occupy quality jobs in the industry and advanced technology sector. The initiative is a partnership between MoIAT, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization and the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council (Nafis).
The ICV program promotes economic growth and sustainable development in the UAE by helping to achieve the objectives of Operation 300 billion. The program contributes to enhancing local production, increasing exports and import substitutions, improving the business environment, developing strategic industrial sectors, and promoting investment in local human capital. It also helps stimulate research, development, and innovation, increases productivity, and supports the growth of SMEs.
The key to achieving these goals is effective implementation and enhanced cooperation with partners. This approach has enabled us to make a qualitative leap in industrial growth and expansion over the last two years. Over the next two years we aim to redouble our efforts and build on the success of the ICV program to further drive sustainable industrial development and transform the UAE into a global manufacturing hub.
March 15, 2023