Industrial revolution key to resetting future of manufacturing worldwide: Al Olama

HANNOVER, GERMANY — Badr Al Olama, Head of the Organizing Committee, Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit (GMIS) has highlighted the urgent need for a global dialogue to shape the future of the industrial sector in light of the coronavirus, COVID-19, crisis.

In a speech on the sidelines of the first day of the #GMIS2020 Virtual Summit, Al Olama said the manufacturing community meets again in very different circumstances to the previous gatherings in Abu Dhabi and the Russian city of Yekaterinburg.

"Despite being unable to convene physically, there is a sense of urgency about holding conversations that shape the future of manufacturing," he said.

Al Olama commented, "The coronavirus has, unfortunately, hijacked our world. Practically no aspect of our lives has been left unscathed. The health and safety of every individual has become a primary concern. And in the process of protecting public health, immeasurable damage has been inflicted on our economies."

"All of society needs to take a deep breath and give serious consideration about the way forward. Radical transformation must take place within every aspect of industry and at every level of society, and the manufacturing sector is by no means an exception."

"Trade has, in many ways, become the backbone of the global economy. It is what keeps society going and what binds the nations and regions together," he emphasized.

Al Olama stated, "In a very short space of time, consumer needs have changed, forcing manufacturers to adjust their products and services beyond the distortions that have already been imposed on them by the pandemic.

"The crisis has turned our attention from distant horizons to closer surroundings, serving as a timely reminder of the importance of cultivating local and regional markets, and most definitely magnifying the need for more agile, more responsive and more resilient value chains,"

"As challenging as this new reality may seem for most of us in the manufacturing sector, coupled with the geopolitical shifts and protectionist sentiments that have overwhelmed us in recent years, we must strike a sensible balance between having efficient and competitive supply chains whilst also securing necessary and flexible local capacity," he said.

"Overcoming these challenges requires a paradigm shift towards "collaborative management" between stakeholders. Private sector companies should take the lead and accelerate the next evolution of digital capabilities, while governments should focus on providing the right policies and frameworks to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

"We hold our destiny in our own hands. The decisions we take in the coming years will define our future and that of future generations. We owe it to them to plan for tomorrow rather than acting in the narrow self-interest of today. Let us work together and charter a new course towards a more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous world for all," he said in conclusion. — WAM





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