MEED's Major New Project Opportunities in Abu Dhabi conference was told on 27 September that Abu Dhabi and Germany's Volkswagen (VW)are moving ahead with plans for joint venture vehicle component manufacturing units to be built in Mussafah industrial estate, despite the failure of negotiations about the purchase by the emirate of a 9.8 per cent stake in the car-maker.
A VW delegation began talks in Abu Dhabi on 28 September about plans for the creation of a zone for the assembly and manufacture of automobile components and a second zone where heavy vehicles will be made. Hussain al-Nowais, chairman of Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Holdingsand director of the Higher Corporation for Specialised Economic Zones for Abu Dhabi, told the conference that there are plans to set up a holding company owned by VW and Abu Dhabi that would promote nine automobile component manufacturing units. Plans call for these factories to supply parts to VW factories. Total investment in all the nine projects has been estimated at AED 2,000 million-5,000 million ($544 million-1,400 million). VW said on 16 September that negotiations about Abu Dhabi buying shares had ended following a disagreement about price. Senior Abu Dhabi officials close to the deal say, however, that the possibility of taking a stake in the firm has not been written off.
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