Key issues pertaining to the development of the defense manufacturing sector in the UAE are frequently discussed during the National Defense Companies Council (NDCC) annual meetings, which take place in Abu Dhabi twice a year. This year, during the Abu Dhabi International Offset Conference (ADIOC) and the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX), the NDCC will highlight how they have accelerated the process of bringing projects to the UAE, acting as a hub that brings defense stakeholders together under one roof.
The NDCC is part of the Tawazun Economic Council (TEC) that seeks to liaise and facilitate joint projects between national defense contractors and international partners, contributing to the expansion of the defense manufacturing sector. It also acts as a facilitator for foreign direct investment, building defense and security technology platforms and achieving UAE’s defense objectives.
One of the NDCC’s many strengths is its Administrative committee which is made up of 2 Tawazun representatives and 5 representatives from other national companies. The committee also has members from the GHQ of the UAE Armed Forces, and from prominent organizations such as Tawazun Economic Council, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry and making the Council one of the most valuable defense bodies in the UAE and the region.
It has long been the Council’s objective to give value and promote its members to international companies allowing them to explore business and investment synergies; and this is done between the NDCC that caters purely to UAE companies and the Defense Contractors Council (DCC) that attracts international companies. Once the link is formed between these two organizations, it is hoped that the pairing process between UAE and international companies will bring about a fruitful and strategic partnership that is of value to the UAE’s long-term growth.
An example of this process is the announcement by the Tawazun Economic Council at IDEX 2017 of its latest project partnership, between Saab AB (Publ) of Sweden and Elite Tactical for Military Consultancy & Training LLC of the UAE. The partnership will give rise to the Development Training Facility for the National Services (Elite Matrix).
The aim of the SV Miles Elite Matrix training system is to avoid or reduce the extent of consequences arising from such pressure and stress such as losing focus, inability to think, surrendering into the situation as a result of severe emotional and psychological effects. The training system also aims at narrowing the gap between what soldiers have learned and what they actually implement during real-life operation.
Commenting on their latest project announcement, Matar Al Romaithi, Chief Officer, Industrial Development Unit at Tawazun Economic Program said, “Tawazun Economic Council is focused on partnering up with foreign and local defense contractors as well as bringing investments and the latest technologies into the UAE thereby generating knowledge-based jobs for UAE nationals and creating business opportunities for UAE SMEs and large companies. Critically, the Program will continue its mission of establishing strong links between international and national contractors, like we have done here, for the creation of commercially viable, profitable and sustainable partnerships.
We are happy to be able to announce this new venture at IDEX 2017, which we hope will provide the necessary awareness amongst our target audience to promote our mandate at the Council, for Tawazun and the UAE”.
Within two short years, the NDCC has been able to grow rapidly and this is clearly reflected in the recent and significant growth where 41 private defense contracting companies have now become members in the past two years alone. The Committee has also announced its event participation calendar for 2017, stating that the 5th NDCC meeting will take place in May this year and the 6th meeting in October. In addition they will take part in the UK’s leading national security event, the Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) under the UAE Pavilion from 12 – 15 September. While in the UK, the NDCC will showcase its members and their service offering to the international defense community, looking to build further strategic bridges with prospective partners.
As a council, the NDCC provides several benefits to member companies. These include facilitating foreign direct investment, enhancing defense and security technology, facilitating regulatory body mandates, promoting and marketing member companies locally and internationally and assisting members with goods and services security clearance. Of course, the underlying objective is to achieve UAE’s defense objectives and contribute in diversification away from Oil & Gas.
Commenting on the recent achievements of the NDCC, Al Romaithi said, “Since its establishment in 1992, the Tawazun Economic Council has become a center of excellence in the development and fast-track execution of new and diverse commercial projects. The Council aims to align its operations and policies with the vision of the UAE’s leadership by contributing to economic diversification, sustainability and technology transfer. We intend to continue opening the right doors for our valued NDCC members through expanding our reach with the international defense community and making the right strategic introductions to our members.