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The Middle East Manufacturing Exhibition (Memex) 2010 opened this week (November 28) with 120 exhibiting companies, representing 400 brands from 16 countries, according to Trade Arabia News Service.

The expo at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre is expected to attract over 3,000 decision makers from more than 25 countries are expected to attend, primarily from across the Mena region.

The Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi (DED) is a leading strategic partner of Memex 2010. The manufacturing sector is a key component of the UAE’s diversification strategy, stimulated by and the need to diversify away from the oil sector.

Iim Meltz, group director at IIR Middle East, the organisers of Memex 2010, was quoted saying the UAE government is considering industries which will increase industrial output and allow the UAE to compete on an international scale, sectors such as aluminium, steel and the petrochemicals.

In 2009 the manufacturing sector represented 16.2% of UAE GDP with a view to increasing this to 35% within the next five years.

Abu Dhabi has already announced 100% ownership for foreign companies in the multi-billion dollar Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ) in Taweelah. KPIZ is a multi-purpose facility strategically located between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The project includes the construction of a world-scale container and industrial port and the development of over 100 sq km of industrial, logistics, commercial, educational and residential special economic and free zones.

The interesting aspect of KPIZ is that is close to the 140 sq km Dubai World Central designed to support Dubai’s aviation, tourism, commercial and logistics and Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ) one of the largest free zones in the world.

Numerous industrial zones are also being created across Saudi Arabia including King Abdullah Economic City an industrial city to the north of Jeddah with initial investment of $26.6 billion. Bahrain is also planning a variety of industrial initiatives in the metals sector such as fifteen projects in the aluminium sector worth a total of $142 million. Qatar is looking to attract $30 billion to drive its industry base. –Source: TradeArabia News Service

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