Direct investment fund for SMEs worth AED 1 billion to be launched in 2022.
The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Emirates Development Bank (EDB) to provide AED30 billion in financial support for up to 13,500 companies and SMEs over the next 10 years. The initiative will target companies in those industrial sectors identified as key to national growth in MoIAT’s new strategy, Operation 300bn.
The agreement aims to drive the development of the knowledge economy, marked by the UAE’s leadership as critical to continued sustainable economic growth during the current period of rapid global digitalization and technological advancement.
The MoU was signed by His Excellency Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of MoIAT, and His Excellency Faisal Aqeel Al Bastaki, CEO of EDB.
Under the agreement, EDB will provide financing solutions and facilitate banking services to meet the needs of businesses in priority sectors. This will include financing to encourage the adoption of advanced technologies in the industrial sector, structured financing and capital investments, financing for business expansion, and green financing solutions.
EDB and MoIAT, as part of the agreement, will also cooperate to stimulate the growth and development of the UAE’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. They will work together to support SMEs through financial advice and assistance and support the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund and loan program to boost advanced technology, and cooperation in evaluating eligible borrowers to ensure they meet the criteria.
Finally, both parties will coordinate with other financing bodies such as investment funds to encourage and secure their support and participation.
A Quantum Leap for Industry
Commenting on the agreement, His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Chairman of EDB’s Board said: “This MoU marks a giant leap for the UAE’s rapidly developing industrial sector and a testament to the forward-thinking approach of this nation’s leadership.
“In the last two decades, industry and entrepreneurialism have emerged as critical drivers of sustainable national economic growth as a result of the country’s ambitious diversification efforts. Building on these strong foundations, Operation 300bn aims to accelerate the growth of our vibrant industrial base and foster a knowledge- and innovation-based economy.”
His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber explained that MoIAT and the EDB will collaborate to cultivate a climate of intuitive entrepreneurship and innovation across the industrial sector’s value chain, with a focus on the manufacturing, infrastructure, technology, healthcare and food security industries, he added.
Industry: The National Economy’s Enabler
His Excellency Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of MoIAT, added: “Operation 300bn is vital to enhancing the UAE’s economic competitiveness and its status as a global hub for pioneering and innovative industries for the next 50 years.
“By creating a dynamic and supportive environment for businesses from around the world, the strategy aims to double the industrial sector's contribution to GDP by 2031, while boosting employment, productivity, in-country value and exports in the process.”
Advanced Technology Adoption
HE Faisal Aqeel Al Bastaki, CEO of EDB, said: “The signing of this MoU complements EDB's ongoing strategy and its objectives of accelerating advanced technology adoption by providing the necessary banking and financing stimulus, as well as strengthening the role industrial SMEs play in bolstering the national economy.
“To achieve these goals, EDB will offer financing to small and medium-sized factories, as well as advisory support to entrepreneurs, startups and small enterprises. In terms of immediate next steps, EDB will focus on establishing partnerships with banks in the UAE to bolster the financial assistance provided to industrial SMEs, priority sectors and underserviced economic segments, ensuring all have access to financing solutions. We are also launching an AED1 billion direct investment fund for small and medium enterprises in 2022, to support companies that need financing and investment in priority industrial sectors.”