Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), UAE region’s premier business and logistics hub, has signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi-based Arab Bank for Investment and Foreign Trade (Al Masraf) to support the business operations of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and other licensed enterprises within in the free zone.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the entities will support DP World’s commitment to facilitate the business activities of over 8,700 customers operating within the free zone, helping Jafza achieve its goal of empowering SMEs and attracting entrepreneurs from around the globe.
Under the agreement, Jafza will facilitate SMEs to streamline their financial processes like account opening, financial documentation, and automation of the remediation process for its partners.
The MoU will support both Jafza and Al Masraf in terms of record-keeping of the licensed businesses in the free zone. The agreement will also help both entities to realize their shared objective of improving economic and commercial engagement.
Mr. Abdulla Bin Damithan, CEO and Managing Director of DP World UAE and Jafza, and Mr. Charles Doghlass, Acting CEO of Al Masraf, signed the MoU in the presence of senior officials from both parties.
“The SMEs sector contributes to more than 53 percent of the UAE’s non-oil GDP. As per the Ministry of Finance, this figure is set to rise to 60 percent by the end of 2021. We have countless success stories of SMEs that are now international companies with a global reach. To maintain our growth momentum and adhere to the national goals, we are committed to supporting new start-ups through our trade accelerators, business incubators and partnerships with financial institutions. Our agreement comes at an important time as Expo 2020 Dubai, a gateway for many business opportunities for SMEs and startups has commenced successfully.”
Mr. Doghlass remarked, “In line with UAE government’s ambition to enhance the contribution and performance of the SME sector that represents 94 percent of the total number of companies operating in the country providing jobs to more than 86 percent of the private sector workforce, Al Masraf is proud to partner with DP World in its efforts to enhance the business setup and operations of SMEs within Jafza.”
Over the years, Jafza has collaborated with several financial institutions for nurturing its business community that is one of the largest in the region. The MoU comes at a time when the UAE economy is regaining its position by bouncing back from the impact of the pandemic, which has given rise to complexities for SMEs to avail of financial incentives.