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UAE launches new offset policy

United Arab Emirates: Sunday, June 13 - 2010 @ 15:39

The announcement was made by the OPB’s Chief Executive Officer Saif Mohamed Al Hajeri during a special session, held on 13 June in Paris, a day before the official opening of the world’s largest rendezvous for land/air defense and security (Eurosatory2010).

The event was attended by 165 delegates, including Major General Ali Mohamed Subaih Al Kaabi, Deputy Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces, high ranking officers from the GHQ of the UAE Armed Forces, members of the Embassy of the UAE in Paris, officials of the OPB and Tawazun and defense companies representatives who converged to Paris for the event.

“The new policy is a fruitful outcome for years of hard work, dedicated efforts and close cooperation among different parties, including Offset Program Bureau, defense contractors, General Headquarters of the UAE Armed Forces and other stakeholders both inside and outside the UAE,” Al Hajeri said as he delivered the opening speech of the event.

“The new policy was developed following extensive discussions among all stakeholders and based on results of a survey conducted by the OPB to identify the challenges defense contractors face in implementing their obligations under the UAE Offset Program,” added Al Hajeri.

He indicated that changes in the policy were aligned with the Government long-term Economic Vision and ambitious strategic plan for comprehensive and sustainable economic and social development that entails more focused efforts towards diversified and knowledge-driven economy, industrial partnerships, capacity building, technology and knowledge transfer and creation of jobs for the UAE citizens.

Al Hajeri Emphasized: “We intend to focus on, and invest in skilled and dedicated people, leading-edge science and technology, and above all, a healthy, sustainable, and efficient industrial-base, capable of delivering the national goals. This can only be achieved through strong, long term, and jointly beneficial partnerships with key industrial players.”

Outlining salient features of the new offset policy, Matar Ali Al Romaithi, Director of the Offset Unit at the OPB, said the new guidelines enable defense contractors to customize their programs by selecting various contribution components made of input and output credit generating activities that would maximize fulfillment of their offset obligations.

Al Romaithi stated: “A hybrid input and output credit contribution model was introduced to enable defense contractors who are dealing with UAE Armed Forces to capitalize on their existing strengths while emphasizing the need to partner with the local private sector in profitable and commercially viable ventures.”

“Building on the past strength, the new policy allows for fulfilling part of the obligation via input contributions such as start-ups, product design, expertise development, training, know-how transfer, IP contribution and others,” stated Al Romaithi.

The OPB also announced the establishment of the Offset Committee, which is made-up of representatives from the OPB and the General Headquarter (GHQ) of the UAE Armed Forces.
The new committee is mandated to create a formal platform between the OPB and the GHQ, review, advise, evaluate plans for offset projects and performance. Additionally, it oversees the procurement processes and advise on potential future contracts.

The launching of the Defense Contractors Council aimed at facilitating transparency through open dialogue and sharing views between defense contractor and the OPB which ultimately will lead to strategic and commercial partnerships. The council members consist of representatives from OPB, defense contractors.

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Sunday, June 13- 2010 @ 15:39 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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