Emirates Development Bank (EDB) has been heralded by UAE industry leaders for its role as the key financial engine of the nation’s economic diversification and industrial transformation agenda during the Make it in the Emirates Forum, which took place at ADNOC Business Center, Abu Dhabi, between June 21-22. The event, organized by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), was held under the theme of “Invest, Partner, Grow”, and showcased the UAE’s industrial capabilities, its ambitions to nurture the industries of the future, and its unique value proposition as a manufacturing hub.
EDB’s booth, which was part of MoIAT’s stand at the event, also registered strong interest. Attendees were able to learn about the bank’s range of direct and indirect financing for industrial projects, which are offered to companies or investors seeking to enter the UAE market, develop greenfield or brownfield sites, expand or diversify their business, deploy 4IR solutions, or transition to renewable or clean energy sources. EDB was able to highlight its patient debt approach, in which financing solutions are provided with long tenors, high loans-to-value, grace periods, and competitive rates.
On the first day, EDB Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi participated in a panel discussion titled “Why Make it in the Emirates?”, which aimed to highlight the various incentives and policy enablers that are available to investors in the UAE. During the panel, Al Naqbi highlighted EDB’s key role in enhancing the ease of doing business by and providing local, regional, and international investors access to the flexible financing they need to set up, scale and expand operations in the UAE.
In addressing the question of how EDB supports the UAE’s industrial sector, he said: “We give projects and companies the breathing space to be able to set up and start generating income and revenue. We don’t look at financing from the perspective of what the return on our capital will be, but from how much it will contribute to the GDP impact on the country. So not only do we do the credit underwriting, we also measure every transaction and every project on a GDP impact scorecard and we balance out between the two.”
He added: “Over the past year, we have really transformed the organization, and that transformation has shifted our focus to SME and large corporate financing solutions. We have a target and objective to lend out AED30 billion by 2026, we are the cornerstone, the financial engine, of this entire ecosystem.”
The panel discussion featured high-profile industry leaders, including H.E Humaid Ben Salem, Secretary General of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry; H.E Sameh Al Qubaisi, Director General of Economic Affairs, ADDED; Saud Abu Alshawareb, Managing Director, Dubai Industrial City (DIC); Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi Ports; Rola Abu Manneh, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank UAE.
On the bank’s participation in the event, Al Naqbi said: “Our participation at the Make it in the Emirates Forum has provided an opportunity to not only showcase our products and services, but also demonstrate our readiness to work in partnership with investors, commercial banks, freezones and other industrial enablers in order to mobilize the capital needed to accelerate the UAE’s industrial ambitions. EDB’s renewed strategy, which is aligned with the UAE’s national agenda, is preparing for the challenges and opportunities of the next 50 years and fulfilling an important gap in the market to ensure long-term and sustainable growth in the country.”
During the event, Ahmed Al Naqbi met with some of EDB’s key partners and discussed their ongoing partnerships and achievements accomplished so far. EDB also received interest from multiple stakeholders and companies that expressed their eagerness to partner with the bank, acknowledging EDB’s role in promoting the country’s economic diversification and resilience, as well as competitiveness.
The Make it in the Emirates Forum 2022 presented a unique showcase of the UAE’s industrial potential and opportunities. It featured major national industrial companies and connected key stakeholders to discuss the sector’s growth strategies.