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ADFD Facilitates AED16.5 Billion Worth to support UAE Companies

Abu Dhabi,02 Apr 2019

In a bid to support the UAE’s national economy, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for international development aid, has facilitated business deals worth AED16.5 billion for UAE companies over the last 10 years to implement ADFD-funded projects in developing countries.

Capitalising on its close relations with developing countries, the Fund has also invested in partnerships and initiatives to support national companies of the UAE and create investment opportunities in developing countries.
In line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of ADFD’s Board of Directors, the Fund has amended its tendering system for projects financed by ADFD-managed government grants. Up to 10 per cent preference will be given to national companies that pass the technical assessment and financial qualification stage outlined in the Fund’s tender policy for grant projects. 
His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan stressed that since its establishment by the founding father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, ADFD has provided funding – including concessionary loans and Abu Dhabi government grants – to drive comprehensive development, assist developing countries in addressing economic challenges and improve the standard of living. He added that the Fund has financed hundreds of projects in multiple countries across the world in sectors ranging from infrastructure to health and education as well as renewable energy. These projects have had a significant positive impact on people’s lives.

His Highness explained that ADFD implements its mandate of providing development aid based on its strategy and development programmes under the directives of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The Chairman of ADFD’s Board of Directors noted that in addition to the significant role the Fund plays in achieving sustainable development in developing countries, ADFD also contributes to stimulating the UAE economy and enhancing its competitiveness within the outlined economic diversification strategy – a key pillar of the country’s policy. His Highness added that the Fund works to establish investment companies and support existing companies in beneficiary countries, thus advancing their economic development while providing opportunities for national companies to enter international markets through various means.

Moreover, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan pointed out that in order to achieve these ambitious objectives, the Fund has formed strategic partnerships and launched innovative development initiatives in cooperation with international organisations and financial institutions. His Highness said that through optimising financial resources, joint project financing as well as sharing expertise, these partnerships and initiatives are enhancing the aid effectiveness and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Deputy Chairman of ADFD’s Board of Directors, emphasised the pivotal role national companies play in economic development. He noted that the UAE government has prioritised boosting their competitiveness in international markets over the next 10 years to establish them at the forefront of regional and global companies in terms of efficiency and diversity. Doing so will ensure a qualitative leap in the national economy, and enhance its competitiveness and sustainable growth.

His Highness added that through leveraging innovative technologies, forging strategic partnerships, developing human capital, as well as building strong research and development capacities, national companies have contributed to increasing the UAE’s GDP.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation highlighted the importance of cultivating new markets in the region in which national companies can grow. He pointed out that through continuously facilitating investments in its beneficiary countries, ADFD has become one of the leading institutions in providing investment opportunities for public and private sector companies in the UAE.

His Highness added that since its inception, ADFD has assisted multiple national enterprises in building business partnerships with international companies. Referring to upcoming endeavours, the Deputy Chairman of ADFD’s Board of Directors concluded that the future holds new prospects that will enable national companies to flourish and enter regional and global markets, complementing the overall development of the UAE.

For his part, His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “Under the directives of the UAE leadership and with the direct follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ADFD continues to support our national companies. Our policies in this regard will help enhance their competitiveness in line with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 that aims to build a diversified and sustainable economy as well as ensure a balanced approach to economic and social development.”

He added: “ADFD projects that benefited from the consulting and implementation services of national companies have demonstrated outstanding efficiency and compliance with the highest international standards. A total of 20 UAE companies have worked or are working on our projects, and we look forward to an increase in participation in future.”

Noting that national companies have been partners in 20 ADFD projects, His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi said: “The Fund seeks to strengthen the presence of UAE companies in developing countries through establishing long-term strategic relationships, especially with economies that enjoy competitive advantages in the fields of industry, energy, housing, agriculture, food processing and aviation, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.”

In 2013, the UAE President issued a law amending certain provisions of Law No. (10) of 1999 concerning the establishment of ADFD. The law increased the Fund’s capital to AED16 billion and expanded its activities to include economic development in the UAE. In addition, ADFD was tasked with maintaining its key role in implementing the UAE’s socio-economic development policies in developing countries.

In light of the amendment, the Fund has adopted a policy of financing UAE private sector investments. To enhance competitiveness and enable investment opportunities, the policy aims to lay the foundations and guidelines on which to provide funding for national private sector investments within the UAE and abroad.

Through facilitating business deals worth AED16.5 billion for UAE companies over the last 10 years to implement ADFD-funded projects in developing countries, ADFD also contributed to joint investment opportunities in its beneficiary countries.

Notable ADFD projects implemented by national companies include the AED3.7 billion expansion of Bahrain International Airport as well as the AED708 million Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed City in Afghanistan.

ADFD is working on establishing a national export financing programme to provide financing and guarantee facilities to boost export rates and open new markets. In line with the UAE Vision 2021 and Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, aimed at advancing economic diversification as a pillar of sustainable development, the programme seeks to support the national economy and enhance its competitiveness through expanding the range of export products and commodities.

In June 2018, ADFD allocated AED7.3 billion to stimulate the Ethiopian economy and encourage joint investments from both countries.