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Tawazun Economic Council hosted the 8th Defense Contractors Council meeting on Sunday at St. Regis Saadiyat – Abu Dhabi.

Matar Ali Al Romaithi, Chief Economic Development Officer of Tawazun Economic Council, attended the workshop, along with senior representatives from International defense companies.

In his keynote speech, Al Romaithi, welcomed the participants and underscored the myriad opportunities the UAE offers to business and industrial partners.

“Set to celebrate 48 years of union, the UAE is steadily striding to achieve its future goals for sustainable and comprehensives development. Thanks to the wise leadership’s vision, the UAE has continued the course of diversification and progress and achieved new milestones,” said Al Romaithi.

He underlined the remarkable growth in non-hydrocarbon sector expected to pick up from 2 per cent in 2017 to 5 percent in 2021, and its contribution to the GDP will increase 80 percent.

He pointed out that Tawazun Economic Council is currently developing new initiatives that will add value to the economic development and consolidate the Council’s successful, enduring and mutually beneficial partnerships, particularly in the areas of knowledge, technology and expertise transfer, as well as capability building.

Al Romaithi also referred to Tawazun Economic Program, or the UAE offset program’s successes, not only in bringing economic benefits to the UAE, but also in contributing to the welfare of the community through unique initiatives. They include privatization of water and electricity, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises – SMEs , Public Private Partnership (PPP), Healthcare third party insurance, IPOs, etc.

“Over the past 25 years, the Council enabled creation of more than 90 companies and investment vehicles, covering 11 sectors, including defense manufacturing.

Al Romaithi emphasized the importance of the meeting in highlighting the opportunities for collaboration and exchange of expertise, especially in human and technology development domains.

“We thank the Defense Contractors Council for bringing to light the potentials for collaboration among the local and international contents of defense program in the UAE. With events like this, we encourage our industry members to participate and learn about the new environment and players in our ecosystem,” he added.

The meeting saw a presentation by Alan Davis, Chief Executive Officer – Raytheon Emirates, who shined light on future opportunities ahead to build a new legacy of industrial partnerships for a sovereign capability that will develop local national talent and contribute to the Emirates’ diverse knowledge-based economy
Building on Raytheon’s more than 30 years in the UAE, Davis reflected on taking that relationship to the next level by starting the company’s newest wholly owned subsidiary in the UAE.

Anna-Karin Rosén, Chief Executive Officer – SAAB Middle East, gave the second presentation about the company’s operations in the UAE.

“The UAE is one of Saab’s key markets. This was manifested during 2017 as Saab established its African and Middle Eastern regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi as well as conducted the launch of a development and production centre, Saab Ltd, in Tawazun Industrial Park, Abu Dhabi. This step is also well in line with Saab’s strategy to increase international presence in order to enhance sales and achieve profitable growth” said Rosén

A workshop was organized at the meeting’s sidelines on the economic impact of partnerships from the perspectives of the foreign defense contractors operating in the UAE.