Emirates Development Bank announces $520m contribution to the UAE's GDP

The lender provided direct and indirect financing to 1,350 SMEs in priority sectors

Abu Dhabi's skyline. EDB has allocated Dh30 billion to fund more than 13,500 SMEs, start-ups and corporates in priority sectors over the next decade. Reuters
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Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Development Bank (EDB) contributed Dh1.91 billion ($520 million) to the UAE’s gross domestic product over the past twelve months, as it continued to play a key role in supporting the Gulf country’s industrial strategy.

The announcement came at the EDB board's first meeting of 2022.

The lender also provided direct and indirect financing to 1,350 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across priority sectors and rolled out a new credit guarantee platform, which was able to mobilise more than Dh332m of capital to SMEs, it announced in a statement on Sunday.

The bank’s new strategy and economic contribution, which was launched in March 2021, underlines "its importance not just to the UAE’s industrial sector, but also to the nation’s economic diversification, global competitiveness and long-term, sustainable economic growth”, said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and EDB board chairman.

“Over the years, the UAE has achieved significant growth and progress across various sectors that are now actively contributing to the nation’s GDP growth," Dr Al Jaber said.

"Through the EDB and its new strategy, we aim to ensure that the industrial sector keeps pace with that growth and achieves the aspirations of the UAE leadership.”

EDB, founded in 2011 through the merger of Emirates Industrial Bank and Real Estate bank, is playing a key role in supporting the UAE's industrial sector through financing programmes.

The bank’s new strategy was launched in March 2021 to support the UAE’s industrial development, accelerate the adoption of advanced technologies and empower the growth of SMEs in the country.

It focuses on the growth and development of large corporations and SMEs in five key sectors including manufacturing, advanced technology, infrastructure, health care and food security.

The lender has allocated Dh30bn to facilitate direct and indirect lending to more than 13,500 companies in these priority sectors by 2025.

“A few highlights include the financing of Dh1.52bn to projects in priority sectors and establishing partnerships with nine commercial banks, resulting in credit guarantees worth Dh332m,” said Ahmad Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs and EDB deputy chairman.

Quote
Over the years, the UAE has achieved significant growth and progress across various sectors. Through the EDB and its new strategy, we aim to ensure that the industrial sector keeps pace with that growth
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and EDB board chairman

EDB also launched a large corporate banking division in less than a year and a digital banking application focused on SMEs and start-ups. In its first six months, over 1000 digital banking accounts have been registered, the statement said.

The lender has also signed memorandums of understanding with 26 partners, including banks, public and private sector entities, chambers of commerce and free zones, over the past 12 months to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to the UAE. It also conducted more than 16 roadshows and industry events.

EDB has been active in forging local partnerships. Last October, it signed an agreement with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office to further boost FDI and attract more businesses to the capital. A month earlier, it teamed up with Ajman Free Zone to support the development of Emirati-led SMEs.

“We will continue to drive forward our efforts to support priority sectors and increase our value-added financing support for projects in technology, health care, food security, manufacturing and infrastructure as we look to the year ahead,” EDB’s chief executive Ahmed Al Naqbi said.

Mr Al Naqbi led the launch of two EDB initiatives with a total value of Dh10bn as part of the UAE’s Projects of the 50 campaign. The initiative allocated Dh5bn to support Emirati entrepreneurship and innovation, and another Dh5bn to accelerate industrial development and the adoption of advanced technology in the UAE.

Updated: April 03, 2022, 11:39 AM
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