The conference, organized by SMI Group, was attended by delegations from around 14 countries.
“We are very pleased with the results of the latest participation in the Offsets 2009, which is regarded as one of the most important events in the offset and counter-trade world,” stated Saif Mohamed Al Hajeri, OPB’s Chief Executive Officer.
“The conference represented a unique opportunity for our team to highlight the role played by the OPB in spearheading the drive to diversify the country’s economy by minimizing dependence on oil & gas as the sole source of income and by boosting inflow of foreign direct investments through joint ventures formed under the UAE Offset Program Bureau umbrella,” he added.
“We utilized the event to emphasize the rapid and sustainable economic progress witnessed in the UAE and how the country is making headway in terms of competitiveness, attraction of foreign investment, and the investor-friendly environment.”
Matar Al Romaithi joined a long list of renowned speakers at the event. In his speech during the opening session, he touched on the program’s successful experiment in boosting the local economy, diversifying the industrial base, facilitating technology and knowledge transfer, and providing job and business opportunities for UAE citizens.
He said the OPB has succeeded in setting up dozens of unique and profitable projects with a total capital of around AED 8 billion ($2.1 billion).
He noted that the Offset Program Bureau’s unique and innovative projects in the UAE include various sectors and specializations, such as financial services, aircraft & ship leasing, commercial aviation maintenance, agriculture & green housing, shipbuilding, training & business centers, medical waste management, healthcare insurance, fish farming, and real estate & property management.
Al Romaithi also outlined the recently-established initiatives by the OPB, including Tawazun Holding, the Bureau’s investment arm that focuses on the development and expansion of selected emerging companies across a wide range of industrial and commercial disciplines and seeks to create viable strategic partnerships that will add value to the UAE economy.
Following its establishment in 2007, Tawazun branched out and acquired the assets and subsidiaries of Caracal International, the first national arms manufacturer in the United Arab Emirates, including the German gun-maker Merkel which has production lines in Germany and the United States, as well as a distribution network all over Europe and America.
Its portfolio includes a stake in Burkan – a joint venture to build the United Arab Emirate’s first munitions factory to serve the needs of the Armed Forces in the UAE and the region. The total investment in the joint venture is Dhs268m ($73m).
Saif Ali Al Marzooqi, Manager of the OPB’s Projects Services Department, said the conference represented an ideal platform for promoting the upcoming Abu Dhabi International Offset Conference (ADIOC 2009) and the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX 2009), to be held later this month in Abu Dhabi.
“Several delegates at that conference were eager to register for ADIOC2009 and to participate in IDEX 2009. In fact, most of them confirmed their attendance for the conference that promises to be a huge success,” added Al Marzooqi.
Monday, February 2- 2009 @ 16:39 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.