Arab companies agree industrial deals worth $2 billion

Projects in manufacturing and mining come under a UAE-led partnership with Egypt, Jordan and Bahrain

Companies from the UAE, Egypt, Jordan and Bahrain signed on Sunday manufacturing and mining agreements worth $2 billion,the first tangible result of an ambitious plan to integrate the industrial sector in the region.

The deals will create nearly 13,000 job opportunities in the four countries.

The agreements, signed by investors in the presence of the industry ministers of the four countries, cover production of electrical cars, minerals and pharmaceuticals.

“We regard integration as the top of economic priority, especially after the challenges and crisis that the world went through in recent years,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate Change.

“The most important thing now is to focus on execution and creating practical, actual results.”

Last year, the UAE, Egypt and Jordan formed the Industrial Partnership for Sustainable Economic Development to boost growth while exploring opportunities for joint investments.

Bahrain, a major producer of raw aluminium and iron ore, joined the partnership in July.

A $10 billion investment fund has been set up and is being managed by Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ to accelerate work on the partnership across five priority sectors, including petrochemicals, agriculture and metals.

The largest project announced on Sunday was a $550 million plan by UAE company M Glory Holding to build three factories in the UAE, Egypt and Jordan to produce an electrical crossover with a combined capacity of 40,000 vehicles a year.

The vehicle will start rolling out of a UAE factory this year, Omar Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, told The National.

“The first production will be in the Emirates this year, God willing,” he said.

CFC, another Emirati holding company, will invest $400 million in an animal feed and chemicals factory in Egypt, using potassium imported form Jordan. Constriction work on the factory is set to start in July.

Emirates Global Aluminium will also build a $200 million silicone factory using raw materials produced by the Jordanian Al Manaseer group. Jordanian and Egyptian companies will also produce pharmaceuticals and medical supplies on behalf of UAE and Bahraini companies.

The industrial partnership is also expected to boost the gross domestic product of member countries by $809 billion, officials said last year.

In 2019, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan and Bahrain accounted for 30 per cent of the Mena region’s industrial contribution to GDP, or $65 billion worth of industrial exports.

The Middle East and Central Asia are forecast to grow by 3.2 per cent following a 5.3 per cent expansion in 2022 and then pick up to 3.7 per cent in 2024, according to the International Monetary Fund.


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