Investments in the UAE’s industries  for the first half of this year reached Dhs. 124 billion, Abdullah Sultan Al Fan, assistant undersecretary for Industrial Affairs at the Ministry of Economy, told Gulf News.
About 5,300 industrial permits were issued so far in 2012 across the UAE, he said on the sidelines of the first Sharjah International Industrial Conference yesterday. Sharjah, one of the key industrial hubs in the country, issued 1,505 factory licenses this year.
The government is targeting a five percent growth in the number of industrial establishments in the UAE next year, Al Fan said.
Industrial products contributed Dhs. 2.433 billion to the UAE’s total non-oil exports in the first half of 2012, he said. The total value of the UAE’s non-oil exports were Dh79.19 billion during this period, according to the Ministry of Foreign Trade.
The ministry is currently in “semi-final” negotiations with local government bodies on a set of industrial regulations that aim to speed up business procedures, Al Fan added. 
These regulations have been in the works for long. “It is not as quick as hoped,” he said. “The regulations will legalize procedures on things like custom exemptions. There will be less human intervention. There will be clear, transparent, systematic procedures.”
The International Industrial Conference, organized by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, discussed the future of local industry, its contribution to the economy and global industrial standards and trends.
In parallel to the conference, the third edition of the Made in Sharjah exhibition was inaugurated by Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah. The exhibition showcases local industrial products with the aim of stimulating industrial exports.