Abu Dhabi Fund endows $10mn for MSME development project in Colombia

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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UAE’s leading financial entity, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has participated in a virtual ceremony hosted by the Colombian Presidential Agency of International Cooperation (APC-Colombia) to launch a project in order to help Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the South American country.

According to the reports, the $10 million (AED37 million) program will be funded from a $45 million (AED165 million) grant extended by the UAE government to Colombia.

The project involves both financial and non-financial assistance, with the latter including technical assistance, capacity building, action planning for individual agencies, and linking manufacturers, producers, and consumers through a common digital platform.

The ceremony was attended by Mr. Khalifa Al Qubaisi, Deputy Director-General of ADFD; Mr. Jose Manuel, Minister of Trade, Industry, and Tourism in Colombia; Mr. Salem Rashid Al Owais, UAE Ambassador to Colombia; Mr. Jaime Amin, Colombian Ambassador to the UAE; as well as other officials representing the two sides.

The project, which will begin in the second quarter of this year, will assist 1,600 MSMEs in overcoming the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic by raising their productivity and export volumes and increasing competitiveness, which will lead to job creation and boost their standard of living.

Mr. Al Qubaisi has noted the project as a new milestone in the strategic relations between ADFD and Colombia, as he reaffirmed the Fund’s commitment to supporting the country in driving sustainable economic development through strategic projects.

“Similar to other high-impact projects we have financed in Colombia in the past, this one is expected to significantly contribute to sustainable socio-economic development in the country, as it will foster innovation in the MSME sector, raise its productivity and improve its access to the global market,” he further added.

Mr. Manuel commented, “This fund will further strengthen our relations with ADFD and the UAE Government. It will go a long way in strengthening the MSME sector, a key element to drive industrial development in our country. We look forward to a successful future of our strategic partnership.”

Abu Dhabi Fund has started its development work in Colombia in 2017. It has spent $45 million (AED165 million) on projects since then, including a $10 million initiative to construct and equip 37 child development centers that will support 5,000 children. These actions are conformed to Colombia’s sustainable economic development program.

Related: Bloom Education receives $14.4mn financing from ADFD’s pandemic support initiative