The National - News

ADGM focuses on new initiative­s to attract companies and boost economy in Abu Dhabi


Abu Dhabi Global Market is introducin­g new initiative­s to boost its growth and attract more companies to the capital’s financial centre, according to its chairman.

The financial centre, which aims to connect the emirate with internatio­nal markets in the Middle East, Africa and South and East Asian economies, is part of Abu Dhabi’s efforts to diversify its economy.

“We have created many successful growth opportunit­ies, brought world-class FinTech companies to the UAE and collaborat­ed on cross-border initiative­s to establish an inclusive financial and FinTech ecosystem in Abu Dhabi … that will foster a more dynamic, advanced and lasting sustainabl­e economy,” Ahmed Al Zaabi said while speaking at FinTech Abu Dhabi yesterday.

The ADGM had 3,700 companies operating within it at the end of June, including global businesses, financial institutio­ns, treasury centres, profession­al services companies, small and medium enterprise­s, start-ups and FinTech companies such as digital asset trading organisati­ons.

The ADGM has introduced a number of new initiative­s over the past year as it continues its focus on attracting new companies to the financial centre. It launched the Mena region’s first calibrated venture capital managers framework, as well as a FinTech sandbox regulatory regime.

It also introduced a comprehens­ive virtual regulatory framework, which is helping ADGM to transform “into a key global jurisdicti­on and destinatio­n for virtual and digital assets, with 12 licensed digital assets entities and counting”, Mr Al Zaabi said.

Other initiative­s include the launch of the ADGM Digital Lab, an online platform that allows regulators, FinTech startups and financial institutio­ns to collaborat­e and solve issues that affect the financial sector.

Mr Al Zaabi also said Israel’s venture capital firm OurCrowd had set up operations in the ADGM.

This is “the first-ever Israeli VC to incorporat­e in Abu Dhabi, as they join our ever-expanding family of venture capital and investment institutio­n partners,” he said.

Jerusalem-based OurCrowd has deployed capital into more than 280 portfolio companies and 30 funds across five continents. Japan’s SoftBank is also investing in the firm.

The UAE and Israel normalised relations after signing the Abraham Accord in September last year. The two countries have since signed a series of deals to foster co-operation in sectors ranging from aviation to finance.

ADGM also completed the world’s first digital trade financing pilot project in collaborat­ion with the Monetary Authority of Singapore as it continues to offer new services to businesses, Mr Al Zaabi said.

“I am certain, that many more such projects will follow … in turn accelerati­ng the digitisati­on of trade finance in Abu Dhabi and the UAE,” he said.

Abu Dhabi is focusing on improving business conditions and supporting its economy, according to Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Developmen­t.

The emirate cut business set up fees by more than 90 per cent to improve ease of doing business. It also introduced a profession­al licence that allows foreigners full ownership of businesses related to 604 activities as the emirate seeks to attract more investors and boost its economy.

“Our goal for Abu Dhabi … is to create a thriving business environmen­t that encourages growth and innovation,” Mr Al Shorafa said.

Abu Dhabi’s economy is expected to grow 6 per cent to 8 per cent over the next two years, driven by the oil sector, government spending, financial services and foreign direct investment, Mr Al Shorafa said earlier this year.

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