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UAE, Egypt and Jordan sign $10bn industrial power pact

The three countries signed up for the partnership in Abu Dhabi on Sunday
  • Abu Dhabi’s ADQ to allocate $10 billion in investment for projects
  • Focus includes agriculture, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and textiles

An industrial partnership between the UAE, Egypt and Jordan was signed in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, and is set to boost sustainable growth and explore opportunities for joint investments in priority sectors.

Abu Dhabi state holding firm ADQ will allocate $10 billion in investment for projects with Egypt and Jordan, Sultan Al Jaber, minister for Industry and Advanced Technology announced.

The three-way initiative will focus on areas of mutual interest between the three countries, including agriculture, pharmaceuticals, minerals, petrochemicals and textiles. It will establish joint industrial projects, create job opportunities, contribute to increasing economic output, diversify the economies of the three countries, support industrial production and increase exports.

Dr Al Jaber said the “ambitious partnership will lead to the creation of industrial opportunities worth billions of dollars by identifying joint industrial projects in the future”.

UAE, Jordan and Egypt collectively have a GDP of about $765 billion and more than 60 million young people, he added.

In the agriculture and food sector, there is an opportunity to increase the production of wheat and corn in the three countries to about 30 million tonnes annually, from 16.5 million tonnes currently, Dr Al Jaber said.

The metals sector, including aluminium and iron, provides opportunities for projects worth $23 billion through high-value manufacturing of products such as glass, electrical wires, automotive components and solar panels.

The combined contribution of the petrochemical industry to the GDP of the UAE, Egypt and Jordan economies was $16bn in 2019. Development opportunities of this sector are now valued at more than $21bn.

Mohamed Alsuwaidi, managing director and chief executive of ADQ, said. “By leveraging the expertise of ADQ and its portfolio companies, the partnership will enable us to unlock opportunities for joint investment in priority industrial sectors and develop a robust and integrated industrial infrastructure while cementing the UAE’s position as a leading industrial nation.”

Emirates Development Bank (EDB) will back the initiative, offering a range of flexible direct and indirect financing solutions to UAE-based companies seeking to unlock the opportunities of the new partnership.

The bank will also offer financial support for integrating advanced technologies, digitisation of operations and investments into alternative, renewable or clean energy sources.

Ahmed Al Naqbi, chief executive of EDB, said the partnership reflects the UAE’s goal to “transform the national industrial sector into a long-term, sustainable engine of growth, which it will achieve by fostering new sectors that respond to the needs of the future”, 

Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said in Abu Dhabi: “The partnership we are signing today is a realistic embodiment and practical execution of an important goal for all of us, which is the pursuit of Arab economic integration, a goal that was present in the minds of the founding fathers of the Arab League in the 1940s.”

Egypt’s economy is projected to expand 6.2 percent in the 2021-2022 fiscal year, one of the best economic growth rates during this period, Mr Madbouly said.

Jordan’s Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh said the new partnership will have a strategic and deep impact on the three countries, with the continued sustainable flow of commodities without any bottlenecks or price instability.

Jordan’s industrial sector is undergoing rapid development and modernisation, attracting investments and contributing nearly 24 percent to the country’s GDP, he added. It also comprises 90 percent of total exports, and employs 21 per cent of the total workforce.