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Emirates Development Bank reiterates commitment to UAE food security and self-reliance at Future Food Forum 2022

Dubai, UAE: 6 October 2022 – Emirates Development Bank (EDB), a key financial engine for economic development and industrial advancement of the UAE, reiterated its commitment to UAE food security and self-reliance as a platinum partner of the Future Food Forum 2022.

Under this year’s theme of “Transforming the Future of Food and Beverage Manufacturing”, the Future Food Forum 2022 was held on 5 – 6 October and brought together leading representatives from the UAE and international food and beverage industry to discuss approaches towards addressing the region’s challenges and opportunities.

As part of the Bank’s strategy to catalyse UAE industrialisation, EDB further approved 750 million in financing to clients in  the industrial sector in just one year from its strategy launch back in April 2021. Moreover, EDB provided sizeable financing in the first three quarters of 2022 to local clients engaged in the production of staple foods.

Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, Chief Executive Officer of EDB, said: “The UAE’s food security forms the basis for the long-term health and wellbeing of its population. The transformation of the UAE into a regional hub for local food production is therefore a key priority for EDB as the UAE’s development bank. The UAE’s National Food Security 2051 will be realised through the strategic collaboration between the private and public sector that can support the nation in leveraging its advanced technology capabilities for innovative food manufacturing solutions. EDB engages in meaningful partnerships with local freezones and entities such as the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Food Tech Valley to ensure that the businesses within the sector receive financing and guidance to support their mission of enhancing the UAE’s food security and agricultural competences.”

EDB underlined the favourable financing terms it offers start-ups, SMEs, and large corporates domiciled in the UAE and engaged in activities with high developmental impact on UAE food security and manufacturing capabilities. Potential clients visiting EDB’s booth were introduced to EDB’s proprietary developmental impact scorecard, with which the Bank makes lending decisions based on a company’s potential contribution to the economic development and in-country value, as well as EDB’s unique patient debt approach to providing flexibly priced loans with longer tenors and favourable terms.

During the leadership panel on “Food and Beverage Manufacturing Partnership for Sustainable Economic Growth”, CEO Ahmed Al Naqbi highlighted the importance of public-private sector partnerships in ensuring the empowerment and supportive environment for businesses advancing the UAE’s food production capabilities. EDB Chief mSMEs Officer Shaker Zainal shared insights into EDB’s strategy supporting the development of localised expertise in the panel discussion on “Creating a Regional Knowledge Hub for F&B Manufacturing Development.” By enhancing the bankability and financial inclusion of entrepreneurs and SMEs within the sector, EDB aims to enable the drivers of innovation to amplify their impact on upscaling local food production and cutting-edge agricultural practices.

The UAE is the world’s second-largest re-export market for agriculture and processed food in the world after the US and plays a vital role in maintaining food and agricultural supply in the region. Under the wise leadership of the UAE government, the industry has made significant strides in diversifying food import sources, enhancing local food production, implementing resilient agricultural practices for increased productivity. EDB remains committed to supporting the nation’s progress by financing the food sector’s technological and manufacturing advancements.

Ⓒ 2023 EMIRATES DEVELOPMENT BANK. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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