Abu Dhabi Fund for Development boosts global sustainability with Dh216 billion in financing and investments

Fund enables Emirati companies expand their global presence


A Staff Reporter

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Skyline of Abu Dhabi Al Reem Island with mangrove forest in foreground
Skyline of Abu Dhabi Al Reem Island with mangrove forest in foreground

Published: Thu 28 Mar 2024, 5:17 PM

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) witnessed a significant increase in its operational activities in 2023, with cumulative development and investment financing surpassing Dh216 billion.

ADFD’s latest annual report highlights total development financing, which amounted to Dh120.5 billion by December 2023. This includes Dh66 billion in concessionary loans and Dh54.5 billion in government grants. Benefiting 106 countries across various continents, these funds have contributed to the attainment of development objectives, spurred economic growth, and enhanced the quality of life for communities.

Closer home, the Fund enabled Emirati companies expand their global presence through the Abu Dhabi Exports Office (ADEX), ADFD’s export financing arm, allocating approximately Dh3.2 billion between 2020 and 2023 to support national exports.

On the investment front, the Fund’s total investments amounted to Dh12.6 billion, spread across seven key investment tools and 16 companies in various sectors, spanning 26 countries. Additionally, the Fund deposited Dh78 billion with Central Banks in developing nations and allocated Dh5.3 billion in financing to bolster investment activities in beneficiary countries.

Consequently, the Fund’s total financing, investments, and bank deposits surpassed Dh 216 billion by December 2023. These remarkable achievements underscore the commitment of the leadership to support ADFD’s objectives, solidifying its position as a global player in advancing sustainable development.

Sustainable development projects

In the foreword in the Fund’s 2023 annual report, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice-President, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Presidential Court, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of ADFD, said: “In the face of escalating global challenges, achieving sustainable development and enhancing the improving societies in developing countries is crucial for ensuring their prosperity and stability. ADFD plays a crucial role in this pursuit, implementing sustainable development and investment projects that significantly contribute to economic and social progress. The enduring support of the leadership has been instrumental in ADFD’s milestones both locally and globally.”

Sheikh Mansour added that the Fund achieved success at the local and global levels due to the steady support of the leadership. “Recognising the challenges that developing countries encounter in executing their development programmes, ADFD’s role involves providing essential funds and establishing global partnerships. This support empowers nations to undertake strategic projects, driving sustainable development and economic activity.”

He pointed out that the Fund tries to sustain the growth of the national economy by enhancing the role of the private sector, and giving it priority within its main activities, and providing the necessary support for the growth of companies’ businesses in vital sectors. The Fund also contributes to the development of national exports and provides credit facilities for importers of UAE goods and services so the local businesses can expand operations in the global market.

The UAE a global role model for sustainable partnerships

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, said: “The United Arab Emirates stands as a global exemplar of sustainable partnerships and international cooperation. At the forefront of this effort is ADFD, a prestigious national institution instrumental in advancing economic and social development worldwide. Underpinned by the UAE’s forward-looking vision and the leadership’s guidance, ADFD has achieved many milestones over its 52-year history, championing economic and social transformation and prosperity for societies benefitting from its projects.”

Sheikh Abdullah emphasised the significant role played by ADFD in supporting the national economy by fostering investments and trade. The Fund prioritizes the national private sector in implementing strategic projects and provides promising growth opportunities. It operates locally and globally, recognising its crucial role in driving economic development in the UAE. Additionally, through the Abu Dhabi Exports Office, the Fund contributes to building a robust and diverse economy by facilitating the expansion of Emirati businesses and enabling national exports to access global markets. He stated that ADFD has proven its distinction as a global model that works to achieve sustainable economic development and enhance international cooperation with various national bodies and global institutions.

Economic boost for communities

Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, said: “The remarkable achievements realised by the Fund in 2023 are attributed to the backing of our leadership and their commitment to attaining sustainable development objectives in developing nations. The Fund’s development financing and diverse investments surpassed Dh216 billion, extending benefits to 106 countries across various continents.”

He emphasised that supporting the national economy remains a top priority for ADFD. “Consequently, we are dedicated to leveraging all available resources to bolster the domestic private sector and enhance its pivotal role both domestically and internationally. Moreover, we are committed to offering competitive financing solutions to boost national exports in global markets, thereby ensuring the realisation of our objectives and further solidifying the UAE’s esteemed position on the global stage.”

He reiterated the Fund’s commitment to ongoing developmental efforts to assist countries worldwide in achieving their developmental aspirations and priorities. These efforts are aligned with the adoption of sustainable practices and innovative initiatives to propel progress across various sectors.

Strategic development projects

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development is committed to enhancing the economic and social development of developing countries by implementing priority development projects across vital sectors such as renewable energy, agriculture, water, transport, education, health and tourism. These projects aim to positively impact the lives of communities and support the overall progress and prosperity of recipient nations.

Diversified investments

In terms of investments, the Fund has made significant strides, contributing to the financial resources of beneficiary countries and generating job opportunities while improving living standards. Its investments span strategic companies and sectors, leading to partnerships between the public and private sectors.

Supporting the national economy

1. Abu Dhabi Exports Office (ADEX)

Supporting the national economy is a core focus for the Fund, exemplified by initiatives such as the Abu Dhabi Exports Office (ADEX). Established in 2019, ADEX aims to boost UAE exports, diversify income sources and enhance economic competitiveness. ADEX allocated funds totaling Dh3.2 billion for the years 2020-2030, supporting Emirati companies in expanding their global presence and and signing 14 regional and global agreements and memorandums of cooperation, in addition to concluding 17 financing deals with international institutions to strengthen UAE industries worldwide.

2. Financing national private sector companies

ADFD actively supports strategic projects aimed at enhancing the national economy. Prioritizing the role of the national private sector, ADFD provides essential funding to enable companies to expand their operations locally and globally. By offering financial support and incentives, ADFD enhances the competitiveness of the private sector, thereby contributing to the economic development of the UAE.

In 2023, ADFD facilitated several significant projects, including the financing of the solar energy station project in Azerbaijan by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) with a value of Dh184 million. Additionally, ADFD supported the Emirati company Talc in financing agricultural projects in Somalia, amounting to Dh40 million. Furthermore, ADFD allocated Dh177 million to support the Terminals Holding Group for the rehabilitation project of Kabul Airport in Afghanistan.

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