Posted on October 03, 2016

It was announced today that leaders in the international manufacturing sector are set to discuss the challenges and transformations of the industry at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), a world-first gathering of global governments, manufacturing businesses and civil society, that will be held from March 27 to 30, 2017, in the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi. The Qatar National Vision 2030 seeks the development of a competitive and diversified economy, within which the manufacturing sector – represented by 10 per cent of Qatar’s GDP in 2014 – can play a major contributing role as the industry undergoes global transformations.

The GMIS announcement comes as innovations in the manufacturing sector are set to have a transformational impact on the global economy. GE predicts that the industrial internet market will reach US$225 billion by 2020 which, along with the increasing prevalence of the Internet of Things (IoT), will lead the way in improving competitiveness and generating new industries and jobs.

With such significant growth opportunities identified for businesses, entrepreneurs and sector innovators at both international and national levels, the UAE Government and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have come together to organise and host GMIS. GMIS will be the first global summit ever held for manufacturing, uniting leaders from diverse industries with international government policy-makers, as well as civil society leaders. The global consulting firm PwC, the events division of international news platform The Economist Group, and market insights and news specialist Thomson Reuters have joined GMIS as strategic partners. The Paris-Sorbonne Abu Dhabi university, located on Al Reem Island, has been chosen as the venue for GMIS, signifying the important role of young graduates in shaping the future, with manufacturing positioned as a key driver of transformation.

Badr Al-Olama, a member of the GMIS Organising Committee who is also the CEO of Strata Manufacturing PJSC, said: “GMIS is not just about shaping the future of global manufacturing. It is about taking a transformational approach for global manufacturing that enables it to meet the needs of the global economy - and the world’s citizens - over the coming decades. Accordingly, GMIS will reflect the entire spectrum of manufacturing, spanning low-tech and high-tech industries and encompassing both the developed world and fast-emerging economies with nascent manufacturing sectors. It brings together for the first time the world’s innovators in all sectors of manufacturing - aviation, automotive, technology, food production and healthcare - and from government and civil society to address common themes and seize new opportunities.”

According to IT multinational Cisco, the Internet of Things, a system of interconnected computing devices and digital machines that transfers data over networks without needing human interaction, will create a US$14.4 trillion opportunity by 2022. In a globally connected world with rising demand, the opportunities for IoT adoption in manufacturing are proliferating.

“The era of capital-intensive heavy manufacturing, characterised by industries like oil, ship-building and steel production, is getting a boost from new manufacturing and information technologies emerging from the hi-tech sector. How IoT is applied to processes and products across these industries could define a new era of advanced manufacturing, powered by technology,” said Anil Khurana PwC Partner, US & ME, Lead, Consumer & Industrial Products and Services. “As the digital and physical worlds of manufacturing converge, advanced technologies have become even more essential to company- and country-level competitiveness. These also create opportunities to change the nature of jobs and work, create economic impact, and support sustainability goals. GMIS creates an opportunity to bring together global expertise and innovative models with the capacity to refocus manufacturing on meeting the needs of the global economy and the world’s citizens over the coming decades,” Khurana added.

The Economist Group, which is developing the GMIS event programme, has designed the GMIS agenda to produce outcomes with practical, real-world application. “Globally, economic growth remains sluggish, prompted by recent geopolitical factors, a tightening of the energy market, expectations for collective climate action and the reduction of emissions, and turbulence facing commodity prices,” said Kay Westmoreland, Head of Middle East and Africa at The Economist Group. “Over the course of the Summit, GMIS will set out a roadmap for the sector as a whole in driving growth in the global economy and addressing pressing global challenges including driving sustainable economic growth, creating skilled employment opportunities, and tackling global resourcing and production challenges.”

GMIS will weigh these shifts in the global economy, and urge a rethink of global manufacturing by government and industry. “When we examine world markets, we see lingering issues from the global financial crisis being exacerbated by low oil prices and, most recently, market uncertainty over Brexit,” said Nadim Najjar, Managing Director, MENA, Thomson Reuters. “The counterpoint – and where we can have a sense of economic optimism – is with rising levels of innovation, fueling productivity and competitiveness gains across the world economy. The SME sector is a disruptive force in manufacturing, particularly with regard to the repurposing of goods, and has the potential to make huge contributions to the more established businesses. With GMIS, we can create a unique stage for stakeholders, large and small, in global manufacturing to share their insights for how we can help companies and countries serve the global good.”

In conjunction with GMIS, a Manufacturing Expo will showcase UAE and GCC manufacturing capabilities, spurring more investment in manufacturing regionally and fostering international partnerships.