His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai has approved the Emirates Development Bank (EDB) Strategy, which will provide a substantial $8.1 billion (Dhs30 billion) in financial support to businesses and start-ups, as part of a new initiative to improve the country’s economy.
The EDB Strategy, which was introduced to support “Operation 300bn,” aims to use the bank’s position as a key driver of the national economy to provide the most comprehensive 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. We must adopt a distinctive vision that meets global trends and sustains development to maximize 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 H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; and H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, among other delegates and officials.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid had launched ‘Operation 300bn’ earlier last month 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 the EDB, has introduced the Bank’s policy pillars and priorities.
The Bank has allocated a portfolio of $8.2 billion (AED30 billion) to support priority industrial sectors over five years as part of the plan, which will help fund over 13,500 SMEs and generate 25,000 jobs.
According to Dr. Al Jaber, the launch of the strategy is focused on the Bank’s position as a key driver of national economic growth, providing a broad support network for the industrial sector in line with the objectives of the Industrial Strategy 2021-2031.
“Operation 300bn is a comprehensive national program 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. 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 programs 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, counseling, 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. 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,” Dr. Al Jaber stated.
Dr. Al Jaber further said that the UAE’s leadership is focused on sustaining and advancing sustainable economic growth in the post-COVID-19 period. “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 Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE continues to reinforce its global reputation for progress and ingenuity as it prepares for the next 50 years,” Dr. Al Jaber noted.
Dr. Al Jaber added, “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is confident our country will reach many important milestones in the next 50 years. And His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has emphasized 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.”
Dr. Al Jaber has 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.”
Priorities of EDB
Dr. Al Jaber has stated that the EDB would increase its financial support for the industrial sector in the coming phase. Its priorities include establishing alliances with UAE banks to expand financial services to small and medium industrial companies and increasing its direct funding by 73 percent in 2021 to support priority sectors, while also focusing on underserved sectors with comprehensive financial solutions.
The Bank will also launch a $272 million (AED1 billion) investment fund for start-ups and SMEs in 2022 and targeting industrial companies in priority sectors that need financing and investment.
Key Driver of the National Economy
The strategy expands on the Bank’s long-standing position in advancing the country’s economy. The Bank has benefited 550 businesses since its establishment, allocating $490 million (AED1.8 billion) in business loans to SMEs. In addition to its $750 million 5-year Senior Bond under a $5 billion scheme, the Bank issued housing loans worth $653 million (AED2.4 billion).