Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s fast-growing Fintech and entrepreneurship development sector is poised to receive a major boost as Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) collaborates with difference entities, a top official said on Monday.
The development comes in the context of the announcement by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, of a Dh50 billion stimulus package to support entrepreneurs, SMEs and the private sector in their growth and innovation.
Speaking at Fintech Abu Dhabi Summit, Ahmad Al Sayegh, minister of state and chairman of ADGM said officials were in active discussions with the Department of Economic Development to boost the SME sector.
They are also working with Emirates Development Bank on initiatives that will improve the cost and ease of obtaining bank loans and supporting businesses through funding.
“This new collaboration augments the ADGM Tech Start-up licence and framework, which enable innovative tech start-ups, regardless of industries, to set up at low cost, while having access to professional services, affordable office solutions, and funding avenues all at one stop in ADGM,” Al Sayegh said.
“Also rallying the local scene is our partner — Plug and Play ADGM. Together, we co-create a structured Fintech accelerator platform to support start-ups and corporates alike.”
To provide SMEs greater access to trade finance and other markets, ADGM is also working alongside the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Monetary Authority of Singapore, to build a blockchain-based trade financing platform for cross-border trade among the markets, he said.
On the operations of ADGM, he said a number of banks including BNP Paribas, Citibank, UniCredit and State Street Corporation, as well as international investment firms such as Softbank and McKinley Capital, have chosen to establish themselves in ADGM to expand their presence in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Mubadala, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth funds, have also announced their plans to expand their presence and operations in the ADGM, he added.
“In particular, Mubadala’s announcement to have $1 billion [Dh3.67 billion] of technology investments by 2021 will no doubt inject new energy into the market and among innovators. Their decision to move existing or start new operations in ADGM validates our efforts and strategy as an IFC [International Financial Centre] and Fintech hub.”
SoftBank Vision Fund
Meanwhile, top executives of SoftBank said they are working closely with Mubadala in Abu Dhabi and also with Public Investment Fund in Saudi Arabia to help the companies, in which SoftBank has invested via its $100 billion Vision Fund set up in the region.
“We are working with Mubadala and Public Investment Fund to bring our portfolio of companies, where relevant, to the region so that they can actually set up local and regional businesses here and there are a number of our companies that have globally scalable models,” Faisal Rehman, Middle Eastern regional office head at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said while speaking at a panel discussion in the summit.
Mubadala Investment Company made $15 billion commitment to the Softbank Vision Fund, a major technology and innovation focused fund, alongside a consortium of leading investors including Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and Apple Inc, among others.
SoftBank has offices in Riyadh and in Abu Dhabi.