Op-Ed: Integrating advanced industries into economic and development cycles

by Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Executive Director of the Emirates News Agency (WAM) ABU DHABI, 16th February, 2019 (WAM) — A panel discussing the Tawazun Economic Program as an enabler and driver of economic growth was held on the opening day of the International Defence Conference, IDC.

The panel arrived at three key contributors: The leadership’s vision for economic diversification, the need to expand partnerships and to support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, SMEs, and finally, enhancing regional and international security by building capacities in the industrial sector, including defence industries.

Marking 25 years since its first launch, the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, IDEX, has created a major shift as the largest platform of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa.

This year’s IDC is a result of a merger between IDEX and Navdex Conference and Abu Dhabi International Offset Conference, so it was natural that it begins with a discussion panel on the Tawazun Economic Program, reflecting the UAE’s message for building a shared future through innovation.

IDEX 2019 is set to celebrate its silver jubilee with the largest edition ever since the expo’s inception in 1993. Spanning the last 25 years, IDEX has increased by 400 per cent, with the number of participating countries rising by 250 per cent over the same period. Visitor footfalls rose by 500 per cent, while the show floor dedicated for the event has gone up by 900 per cent compared to the first edition in 1993.

IDC, on the other hand, has attracted around 1,200 experts and specialists from all over the world. The conference will discuss topics related to technology, science as well as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, 4IR, with relevance to bolstering peace and security in the world.

The defence industries carry huge potential. This potential is widely used to boost the development process and help position the UAE not only as a global soft power but also as a global destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, MICE, and an ideal venue for government summits and meetings of the human fraternity.

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