UAE introduces new financing solutions for defence industries

Emirates Development Bank to offer green financing, financing capital expenditure, and finance start-ups and SMEs

By Wam

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Published: Wed 22 Feb 2023, 12:00 AM

UAE-based SMEs in the industrial sector will soon be able to access new financing solutions and enablers following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed at IDEX and NAVDEX 2023.

The MoU between the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), Tawazun Industrial Park (TIP) and the Emirates Development Bank (EDB) was signed on the side-lines of the defence exhibition.

In line with the Make it in the Emirates initiative, the MoU aims to attract industrial investors to strategic sectors such as defence by providing a package of incentives and benefits.

Under the MoU, MoIAT and the Tawazun Industrial Park will provide incentives to attract industrial investments to the park in line with MoIAT’s efforts to create an attractive business environment for local and international investors, as well as stimulate innovation and the adoption of advanced technology in the industry.

The Emirates Development Bank will provide flexible and competitive financing solutions such as green financing, financing capital expenditure, and financing start-ups and SMEs.

Omar Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology said: “The MoU will help empower the industrial sector in line with MoIAT’s mission, and the objectives of Operation 300 billion. This strategy aims to enhance the business environment that attracts local and international investors, especially to vital industrial sectors under the umbrella of Make it in the Emirates, the National ICV Program, and the Technological Transformation Programme.

The MoU was signed by Omar Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, Eng. Faiz Saleh Al Nahdi, CEO of the Tawazun Industrial Park, and Ahmed Mohammed Al Naqbi, CEO of the Emirates Development Bank, in the presence of His Excellency Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, Major General Dr. Mubarak Saeed Ghafan Al Jabri, Assistant Undersecretary for Support and Defence Industries at the Ministry of Defence and Deputy Chairman of the Committee for IDEX and NAVDEX, and Tariq Al Hosani, Secretary General of Tawazun Council, as well as senior officials from MoIAT, the Ministry of Defence, the Tawazun Council and the Emirates Development Bank.

“The Emirates Development Bank is one of our most important strategic partners. Similarly, Tawazun Industrial Park, the UAE’s integrated national centre for defence, security and technology industries, is critical in enabling local defence contractors. Our MoU will offer incentives packages that include competitive prices for land and facilities, as well as incentives to encourage exports from TIP.”

He added: “The ministry continues to facilitate partnerships that promote the growth and competitiveness of the national industrial sector and support local supply chains. In addition to encouraging companies to benefit from the National ICV Program membership, we have also introduced initiatives such as the exemption of customs fees for industrial production inputs, which saved industry nearly Dh4 billion in 2022.”

Eng. Faiz Saleh Al Nahdi, CEO of Tawazun Industrial Park, said: “Tawazun Industrial Park will encourage and empower investors through tailor-made incentives and facilities, as well as long-term lease contracts, free lease terms, and supportive business incubators, while the Emirates Development Bank will provide financing solutions to attract foreign direct investment to the UAE.”

The defence sector is a priority industry for MoIAT, which aims to increase the contribution of the industrial sector to GDP to Dh300 billion by 2031, raise productivity, and create more job opportunities for Emiratis. By 2030, the UAE will increase its domestic defence expenditure from 10 per cent to 30 per cent of its total defence expenditure, which represents an opportunity to substitute imports and promote supply chain localisation.

Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, Chief Executive Officer at Emirates Development Bank said: “With defence being a priority sector under MoIAT’s Operation 300bn, we are pleased to announce that EDB will be looking to provide financing up to $100 million to further support the advancement of the industry.”

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