The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has signed a cooperation agreement with the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) to enhance the competitiveness of local products.
The cooperation will foster the role of the Abu Dhabi Local Content (ADLC) programme, one of the initiatives under the Ghadan 21 accelerator programme, in accelerating localization measures through supporting local producers in the government procurement and tendering processes.
ADLC seeks to unlock growth opportunities for the private sector to be at the heart of Abu Dhabi Government’s investments, encourage businesses to invest in the local market, strengthen the supply chain and increase Abu Dhabi’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The agreement was signed virtually by H.E. Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, and H.E. Saeed Al Bahri Al Ameri, Director General of ADAFSA. The partnership further supports the Abu Dhabi Government’s modernisation and development strategy to enhance government performance and increase the effectiveness of services offered to the business sector.
H.E. Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi said that the new agreement is part of the Department’s implementation of the ADLC programme in collaboration with local and federal government and semi-government entities that are concerned with the implementation of the programme and the issuance of its related certificates. He emphasised that these efforts contribute to increasing the Emirate’s GDP, encouraging Emiratisation in the private sector and promoting a knowledge-based economy.
H.E. Al Balooshi added that the agreement will also help develop a framework for defining the key areas of cooperation between ADDED and ADAFSA that are related to the implementation of the ADLC programme in the agricultural sector. This would include facilitating the required procedures, increasing investment opportunities and enhancing the services provided for investors.
H.E. Saeed Al Bahri Al Ameri said: “The agreement demonstrates the spirit of cooperation and responsibility between government entities in Abu Dhabi, and we are pleased to work with ADDED towards building a diversified, globally competitive and sustainable economy based on a balanced approach to attain socioeconomic development.”
H.E. Al Ameri added that the ADLC programme has been considered a leading example of the initiatives that seek to direct government spending towards supporting local production; encouraging suppliers and companies to increase their production; as well as attracting more investments into the national economy.
He further explained that the implementation of the programme within the agricultural sector, food production and national food industries would strengthen the supply chains of food products; increase the demand for local products; and spur agricultural and food investments, which all contribute to economic diversification and increased share of the agricultural sector to Abu Dhabi’s GDP.
Al Ameri noted that ADAFSA has begun requiring suppliers and companies participating in tenders to present ADLC certificates. He further emphasised that the new agreement helps the Authority to expand the scope of the programme’s beneficiaries to include small and large producers in the agricultural and food production sectors; support local products and enhance their competitiveness in the market.
Under the terms of agreement, ADDED will provide the necessary technical support to train and qualify ADAFSA’s employees tasked to implement the ADLC programme in addition to the technical support services for local producers to encourage their participation in the programme. It also includes facilitating and amending the required procedures in coordination with certifying bodies to encourage companies to buy local products and thereby increase their local content value.
Meanwhile, ADAFSA will provide ADDED with data on the size and types of food production, exports and imports and other necessary information to properly implement the ADLC programme. This data will enable the Department to issue reports and submit proposals and recommendations supporting local products in the emirate, as well as guide ADDED in its efforts to assist ADAFSA in the implementation of the programme’s mechanisms.
The two parties agreed to forge key areas for mutual cooperation and develop a working plan in all fields related to the implementation of the ADLC programme, as well as to form a committee which will monitor the progress and implementation of the terms of the agreement.