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▶ Partners sign deal to build solar park and desalinati­on project in fight against climate change


The UAE, Jordan and Israel have agreed to develop a renewable energy and desalinati­on project in the Hashemite kingdom.

The scheme will boost the growth of clean energy in the country and mitigate climate change.

The partners will build solar photovolta­ic plants with the capacity to generate 600 megawatts of electricit­y in Jordan, to be exported to Israel.

A desalinati­on programme will be developed in Israel by the partnershi­p to supply water-scarce Jordan with 200 million cubic metres of water.

US presidenti­al envoy for climate John Kerry attended the signing ceremony in Dubai.

Feasibilit­y studies for the project will begin next year.

“Climate change is already having a major impact on countries and communitie­s in the Middle East,” said Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Internatio­nal Co-operation.

“As we prepare to host Cop28 in the UAE in 2023, we demonstrat­e with this declaratio­n that all nations can work together to further the energy transition and build a more sustainabl­e future for all.”

The UAE became the first country in the Arab world to pledge to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Israel is aiming for the same target.

Israel already exports gas from its Leviathan fields to Jordan, which depends on imports to meet its energy needs.

The Emirates has invested in Jordan’s power grid, helping the country to decarbonis­e by building renewable plants.

“The UAE is pleased to play a role in bringing Israel and Jordan together in an initiative that reinforces both countries’ climate security and common interests,” Sheikh Abdullah said.

“This declaratio­n is just one of the positive outcomes of the Abraham Accords that is serving to reinforce regional peace, stability and prosperity while improving the lives and the future prospects of all the people of the region.”

The UAE called for a united front to advance the manufactur­ing and industry sectors by harnessing new-age technologi­es and boosting cross-border collaborat­ion, as the world enters the post-Covid-19 age and in anticipati­on of any unpreceden­ted crises.

Global manufactur­ing, which was severely affected by the pandemic, has experience­d a considerab­le rebound, but its uneven recovery is creating supply chain bottleneck­s and backlogs. If not carefully addressed this could slow future growth, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and managing director and group chief executive of Adnoc, said at the opening of the fourth Global Manufactur­ing and Industrial­isation Summit in Dubai yesterday.

“For industry leaders, the lessons of the post-pandemic recovery are very visible and, in fact, very clear: real recovery requires resilience and agility. We need to reinforce industrial capacity, strengthen supply chains and control and reduce costs,” Dr Al Jaber said.

He also encouraged businesses to operate more flexible models and strengthen their balance sheets “with a mix of cash reserves and sensible debt financing”, as well as building private-public partnershi­ps to collective­ly manage risks to deal better with future disruption­s.

The manufactur­ing sector is a key pillar of the UAE economy and the government has taken several steps to attract investment and promote inclusion.

Last month, the UAE announced the Industry 4.0 programme, which aims to increase productivi­ty and the developmen­t of innovative products, in turn boosting manufactur­ing by 30 per cent and adding Dh25 billion ($6.8bn) to the economy by 2031.

Local companies are ramping up efforts to contribute to this drive. Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala is actively involved in boosting key sectors including renewable energy, steel and space. The Capital’s Tawazun Economic Council and Al Yah Satellite Communicat­ions Company agreed to set up a joint venture to develop and manufactur­e satellite communicat­ions technology.

These initiative­s will all contribute to the diversific­ation

of the UAE economy and help it march towards an innovation-driven future.

“As the UAE celebrates its 50th anniversar­y, our leadership has issued a blueprint for prosperity for the next 50 years. And it is our guide to building a dynamic, world-leading economy. And at the core of that blueprint is partnershi­p,” Dr Al Jaber said.

“No economy exists in a vacuum and we know that progress is faster – much faster – when people work together. And in that spirit, I invite all of you to partner with the UAE; together, we can reinforce our collective resilience and agility, and we can all succeed and help bring prosperity through prosperity in the world.”

Data is the “most important tool” for companies and digitalisa­tion is something they need to leverage in order to speed up decision-making processes and be prepared for unexpected disruption­s, according to Shadi Malak, chief executive of Etihad Rail.

“Companies need to be better and more efficient in utilising these platforms, and be able to shift more towards collecting data rather than leaving it to third-party suppliers. This will enhance your service and enable you to deliver to your end-customer,” he said.

The workforce will also play an integral part in the sector and getting the right talent is the most difficult part of building an ecosystem, said Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligen­ce, Digital Economy and Remote Working System.

“There are certain things money cannot buy. You can put the infrastruc­ture and invest in

it, but getting people to use and build something meaningful out of it is actually the hardest thing to do. What lets people leverage the infrastruc­ture to build something meaningful is the quality of talent,” he told the audience.

Last week, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Developmen­t expanded its freelance profession­al licence programme, adding 11 more commercial activities to the list as it seeks to boost the emirate’s business environmen­t and create more technical jobs to attract and retain talent.

Attractive packages will also be a lure, with a recent report from Mercer showing that UAE employers are set to go on a hiring spree in 2022 and raise salaries by an average 3.6 per cent as the post-Covid-19 recovery accelerate­s demand for jobs.

The UAE is taking an inclusive approach in attracting talent and the government is pushing for more public-private partnershi­ps to develop a more sustainabl­e business ecosystem powered by new innovation­s, Mr Al Olama said.

“We don’t want to come with a stick, we want to come with a carrot: we want to work with the private sector, invest in their infrastruc­ture and bring the talent – any way that is going to create a paradigm that does not exist anywhere else, and create solutions in a very short period of time that will become globally relevant.”

Meanwhile, Lord Gerry Grimstone, the UK’s Minister for Investment, said London is in the process of starting free trade negotiatio­ns with the GCC, and that he aims to finalise it within the next 12 months.

He highlighte­d the importance of merging multilater­alism – an alliance of multiple countries working towards a common goal – and free trade flows with technology as an essential part of keeping trade channels alive and ready to face the challenges any crises may present.

The UAE is taking an inclusive approach in attracting talent and pushing for more publicpriv­ate partnershi­ps

 ?? AFP ?? Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidenti­al Affairs, and US presidenti­al climate envoy John Kerry at the Global Manufactur­ing and Industrial­isation Summit in Dubai yesterday
AFP Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidenti­al Affairs, and US presidenti­al climate envoy John Kerry at the Global Manufactur­ing and Industrial­isation Summit in Dubai yesterday
 ?? Pawan Singh / The National ?? Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, at yesterday’s opening ceremony
Pawan Singh / The National Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, at yesterday’s opening ceremony

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