Emirates Development Bank seeks to promote financial inclusion of SMEs

Emirates Development Bank (EDB), a key financial engine of the UAE’s economic development and industrial advancement, has successfully concluded its participation in the Annual Investment Meeting, held at ADNEC, in Abu Dhabi this week.

Key highlights of EDB's partaking in the two-day event include the participation of the Bank's CEO Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi in a high-level panel discussion as well as exhibiting EDB's flexible and customized financing solutions through a stand at ADNEC. The stand served as a platform for networking and connecting with experts, investors, companies, and SMEs.

EDB's CEO, Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, said: "Hosting the 12th Annual Investment Meeting is testament to the UAE's significant contribution to global efforts to reshaping the business landscape and fostering economic growth and productivity. The event has become a strategic platform to share knowledge and expertise and to explore ways to boost value for investors. Importantly, it was a good platform to share the financial and non-financial solutions EDB offers to support SMEs and corporates, as well as our involvement in Make it in the Emirates and Operation 300bn to further develop the UAE's industrial and manufacturing capabilities."

During the panel, panellists engaged in a fruitful conversation about the UAE's strengths in addressing global challenges and positioning itself as a preferred investment destination. The country leveraged its exceptional infrastructure to drive national industrialization and established itself as a regional manufacturing hub.

As the key financial engine of the UAE's economic diversification and industrial transformation agenda, EDB launched its five-year strategy in 2021 with a focus on five priority sectors that align with the country's national development objectives. These include Manufacturing, Advanced Technology, Renewables, Healthcare, and Food Security. EDB provides financial and non-financial solutions to support companies operating within the five sectors and aims to deploy AED 30 billion in support to 13,500 companies by 2026.

The Bank offers financing solutions with flexible terms for industrial companies and projects with high developmental impact. Financing options include capex financing, advanced technology adoption financing, renewable and energy efficiency financing, digitalization finance, and project financing. These products fill the lending gap in the market and enable companies to expand operations, develop new capabilities, and create jobs.

A significant point of discussion during the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) revolved around the available options in the UAE for companies, especially SMEs, to secure financing for their projects, considering the global environment of tighter credit and declining venture capital. This presented an ideal opportunity for EDB to showcase its diverse range of financing solutions and initiatives designed specifically for SMEs. EDB highlighted its direct and indirect financing options, which aim to enhance the bankability and promote financial inclusion of SMEs. Additionally, EDB emphasized its Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS), which offers a partial guarantee to partner banks, assisting SMEs in overcoming financing challenges they may face. These comprehensive offerings from EDB underscore its commitment to supporting the growth and development of SMEs in the UAE.

In addition, EDB's role in Make it in the Emirates and Operation 300bn reflects the Bank's support for the UAE's National In-Country Value program by providing financing to developmental companies and projects in its five priority sectors. The Bank offers direct and indirect lending to assist companies as they seek to expand, modernize, diversify, adopt advanced technology or transition to renewable energy sources.

In conclusion, the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) 2023 served as a platform to showcase the vast investment opportunities across diverse industrial sectors. The discussions held at the event underscored the crucial role of finance in expanding opportunities for businesses of all sizes and driving accelerated economic growth.