Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, approved the Emirates Development Bank (EDB) Strategy to provide a sizeable Dh30 billion-worth financial support to businesses and start-ups in a major step to drive the national economy.
Launched to support "Operation 300bn", the EDB Strategy aims to leverage the Bank’s role as a key driver of the national economy to provide the largest support network for the industrial sector.
Sheikh Mohammed said, "Advancing the national economy is a top priority that requires a joint effort of all our economic entities in the coming phase."
He added, "We must adopt a distinctive vision that meets global trends and sustains development to maximise the industrial sector’s revenue and boost the broader economy.
"The Emirates Development Bank Strategy presents a giant leap that will leverage the bank’s role as a key driver of the national economy. Providing effective financial solutions will support the role of SMEs as main players in shaping our national economy."
The EDB Strategy was launched in the presence of Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, among other delegates and officials.
Sheikh Mohammed had launched Operation 300bn earlier in March as a 10-year comprehensive strategy to more than double the industrial sector's contribution to the country's GDP, positioning the UAE as a global industrial hub by 2031.
Supporting Operation 300bn Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Chairman of EDB, presented the Bank’s strategy pillars and objectives.
Under the strategy, the Bank allocated a portfolio of Dh30 billion to support priority industrial sectors over a period of five years, which will contribute to financing more than 13,500 SMEs and creating 25,000 jobs.
Al Jaber noted that the launch of the strategy is based on the Bank’s role as a key driver of the national economic development that provides a large support network for the industrial sector in line with the Industrial Strategy 2021-2031 objectives.
He said, "Operation 300bn is a comprehensive national programme aimed at enhancing the contribution of the industrial sector to the UAE’s sustainable economic growth. Through close collaboration, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and the Emirates Development Bank will extend support to large corporations, SMEs and entrepreneurs across various industries including healthcare, infrastructure, food security and technology."
Al Jaber noted that EDB will act as a critical financial engine for the national industrial strategy Operation 300bn, alongside its continued mandate to provide Emiratis with housing finance. "The new EDB strategy will help accelerate industrial development and the adoption of advanced technology through dedicated financing programmes and will also provide dedicated investment funds that will support entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs."
In addition to providing flexible housing solutions, EDB will complement its offering to companies and entrepreneurs with training, counselling and guidance for UAE citizens and residents. "EDB aims to cultivate a spirit of innovation, with a focus on the industries our leadership have identified as critical to the nation’s long-term sustainable growth," he said.
Al Jaber noted, "EDB will provide other tools including supply chain support, project financing, long-term financing, business accelerators, equity capital financing, and a business growth support fund."
He added that maintaining and furthering sustainable economic development in the post-COVID-19 era is a priority for the UAE’s leadership.
"We are grateful to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for approving the Emirates Development Bank’s new strategy, which aims to stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation across the UAE’s vibrant industrial sector by providing financing solutions to large companies, entrepreneurs and SMEs."
"Through the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE continues to reinforce its global reputation for progress and ingenuity as it prepares for the next 50 years."
He added, " Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid is confident our country will reach many important milestones in the next 50 years. And Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed has emphasised the need for a unified national effort, calling on the entire country to multiply their efforts ten-fold to ensure the nation’s ambitious goals are met."
Al Jaber stated that "Alongside the close cooperation between the Ministry and the EDB, Operation 300bn is the result of a tremendous collaborative effort with our stakeholders, which has in turn enabled and allowed us to develop practical, integrated solutions that we can begin implementing right away."
Al Jaber stressed that in the next phase, EDB will step up the financial support provided to the industrial sector. Its priorities include establishing partnerships with UAE banks to extend financial services to small and medium industrial companies and increasing its direct financing by 73 percent in 2021 to support priority sectors, while also focusing on underserved sectors with extensive financial solutions.
The Bank will also launch an Dh1 billion investment fund for start-ups and SMEs in 2022 and targeting industrial companies in priority sectors that need financing and investment.
Driver of National Economy
The Strategy extends the Bank’s continuous role in advancing the national economy. Since its inception, the Bank has supported 550 companies, allocating Dh1.8 billion business loans to SMEs. The Bank provided housing loans worth Dh2.4 billion, besides its $750 million 5-year Senior Bond under a $5 billion programme.