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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Dubai targets right medicine to boost growth

Vision for industrial development no longer just revolves around processed foods and beverages or electrical machinery, equipment and chemicals

Dubai aims to boost its GDP. Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters
Dubai aims to boost its GDP. Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters

Dubai’s manufacturing sector is the fourth-largest of the emirate’s economy accounting for about 14 per cent of GDP.

Its development is integral to the development of non-oil industries and the economic diversification plans of the emirate which has positioned itself as a hub for multinationals and services.

The vision for industrial development no longer just revolves around processed foods and beverages or electrical machinery, equipment and chemicals. According to Emirates NBD, which produces the Dubai Economy Tracker survey, Dubai's economy has grown at a faster rate in the first half of 2017 compared with the same period last year.

News that the emirate is engaged is in talks with drug-makers from India, China and South Korea in addition to European and American pharmaceutical companies about setting up manufacturing facilities in Dubai as part of the its Industrial Strategy 2030 will further advance industry, enhance the workforce and boost the competitiveness of the economy.

The insatiable appetite to do more, aim higher and constantly canvass the landscape for opportunity to excel is rooted in the wider vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

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According to government estimates, the sector is projected to increase Dubai's total GDP by Dh165 billion by 2030 through the development of six industrial segments: aerospace; maritime; pharmaceuticals and medical equipment; aluminium and fabricated metals; food and beverages; and machinery and equipment.

The industrial strategy has gone into the implementation phase this year and has identified ambitious targets, which include growing investment in research and development by Dh700 million by 2030, as well as creating 27,000 new high-value jobs and growing the size of the industrial sector by Dh18bn – some Dh16bn of which will come through exports. Overall, the pharmaceutical market in the wider Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region is forecast to grow to $33.4bn this year from $32.2bn last year, according to BMI Research.

Promoting pharma and seeking to attract big players from the pharmaceutical companies by providing incentives with the right operating platform and regulatory environment will impact value chains, position Dubai to be more of a manufacturer than an importer, help with knowledge sharing and the promotion of research and development. It also means more competitively priced drugs.