As part of its commitment to help grow and develop various local sectors and further drive Ajman’s economic progress, Ajman Free Zone has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Emirates Development Bank (EDB), a key financial enabler of the country’s economic diversification and industrial transformation agenda. This mutually beneficial collaboration will help build a more vibrant business ecosystem in Ajman and the UAE.
The MoU primarily focuses on areas of mutual interest such as Emirati-led entrepreneurial ventures and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), sharing of expertise, and joint awareness and development initiatives, in line with the ‘Make it in the Emirates.’ Campaign. Ajman Free Zone is the first free zone to sign a partnership with the bank under this newly introduced strategy.
H.E. Eng. Ali AlSuwaidi, Director General of Ajman Free Zone, said that this important and strategic MoU will pave the way for new partnerships that will drive social and economic development in the country, as well as increase the capabilities of Ajman Free Zone and EDB in supporting and empowering Emirati entrepreneurs and SME owners.
Promoting locally owned businesses, including those in the industrial sector, is vital to advancing the national economy and an important component of the UAE Government’s ‘Operation 300bn.’ The 10-year overarching initiative seeks to increase the economic share of the industrial sector from the current AED 133 billion to AED 300 billion.
AlSuwaidi said: “We are pleased to sign an MoU with EDB, which is a pivotal contributor to the country’s economy. This partnership reflects our keenness to build common platforms to support Emirati entrepreneurs and SME owners. Also, it aims to enhance our cooperation with leading authorities with regard to this commitment. Through our cooperation, we can provide SMEs operating in the free zone with the much-needed bank support under more competitive and attractive terms. This step will also provide more incentives to the local business community, as the MoU is geared towards advancing the aspirations of our young entrepreneurs, innovators and national talents by providing them with more affordable financing solutions.”
For his part, Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, CEO of EDB, said: “EDB’s partnership with the Ajman Free Zone is aligned with our strategy aimed at supporting the industrial and SME sectors in the country. EDB and AFZ are both focused on supporting the key priority industrial sectors in the UAE, and have a shared vision to boost economic development, technological advancement, and long-term growth. Through our collaborative efforts, we will provide innovative financial solutions and support, such as mentoring and training, to empower SMEs and entrepreneurs within AFZ. We look forward to working closely with AFZ to create a robust ecosystem that effectively contributes to the UAE’s growth journey.”
Under the terms of the agreement, EDB will extend suitable support to SMEs registered at Ajman Free Zone, in line with the bank’s applicable policies and procedures. In addition, the companies operating in the free zone will be given access to the bank’s key programs, innovative financing solutions, and other facilities.
This cooperation is the latest addition to Ajman Free Zone’s portfolio of strategic partnerships with the banking sector. Its agreement with EDB allows companies in the free zone, especially the SMEs, to have access to more banking facilities and competitive financing options that will support their expansion. Stronger government and private partnerships and enhanced value-added services are essential pillars of the free zone’s strategy to improve the competitiveness and attractiveness of the local business environment.