ADFD funds $10 million MSME development project in Colombia - GulfToday

ADFD funds $10 million MSME development project in Colombia


Participants of the virtual ceremony organised by APC-Colombia to launch new project in Colombia.

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), took part in a virtual ceremony organised by the Colombian Presidential Agency of International Cooperation (APC-Colombia), to launch a project to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Colombia.

The Dhs37 million ($10 million) programme will be funded from a grant of Dhs165 million ($45 million) extended by the UAE government to Colombia.

The project includes both financial and non-financial support, the latter comprising technical assistance, capacity building, drawing action plans for the individual entities, as well as connecting suppliers, producers and consumers through a common digital platform.

The ceremony was attended by Khalifa Al Qubaisi, Deputy Director-General of ADFD; Jose Manuel, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism in Colombia; Salem Rashid Al Owais, UAE Ambassador to Colombia; Jaime Amin, Colombian Ambassador to the UAE; as well as other officials representing the two sides.

The project, which will commence in the second quarter of this year, will target 1,600 MSMEs, helping them to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic by raising their productivity and export volumes and increasing competitiveness, which will lead to job creation and elevation of the standard of living.

Al Qubaisi described the project as a new milestone in the strategic relations between ADFD and Colombia, as he reaffirmed the Fund’s commitment to supporting the country in driving sustainable economic development through strategic projects.

“Similar to other high-impact projects we have financed in Colombia in the past, this one is expected to significantly contribute to sustainable socio-economic development in the country, as it will foster innovation in the MSME sector, raise its productivity and improve its access to the global market,” he noted.

He added that the sector’s comprehensive development would enable the beneficiary country to attain the objectives of SDGs 8 and 9, which relate to “decent work and economic growth” and “industry, innovation and infrastructure”, respectively, as well as those of many other SDGs, directly and indirectly.

Manuel expressed his appreciation for the UAE and ADFD for their proactive role in his country’s socio-economic development.

“This fund will further strengthen our relations with ADFD and the UAE Government. It will go a long way in strengthening the MSME sector, a key element to drive industrial development in our country. We look forward to a successful future of our strategic partnership,” he further stated.

Abu Dhabi Fund started its development work in Colombia in 2017. Since then, it had allocated Dhs165 million to finance projects, including a $10 million programme to build and equip 37 child development centres, benefiting 5,000 children. These actions conformed to Colombia’s sustainable economic development programme.

Earlier the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) Board of Directors approved the allocation of Dhs735 million ($200 million) for Abu Dhabi Exports Office (ADEX) to accommodate export financing that will help spur the growth of exports of national companies in the UAE. The 2021 budget allocation increased by 33.3 per cent, with Dhs184 million ($50 million) over the 2020 export development budget.

This year’s budget allocation will be used to directly support transactions with overseas buyers of goods and services of UAE origin while contributing to the expansion of the national export economy.

Providing qualified overseas buyers with access to competitive export financing gives UAE companies a powerful strategic advantage, particularly in the current economic environment when access to commercial financing is more challenging and expensive in many emerging global markets.

It also reduces the risk and financial exposure of UAE exporters on international transactions, enabling companies to safely expand into strategic growth markets.

Access to export financing will also contribute to advancing the new “Operation 300 billion” and “Make it in the UAE” comprehensive programme to more than double the value of the output of the national manufacturing and industrial sector in the next 10 years. Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD and Chairman of the Executive Committee of ADEX, said, “The newly announced Make it in the UAE initiative reinforces the strategic importance of our manufacturing and industrial sector to our future sustainable economic development strategy.”

“The growth and diversification of our manufacturing capabilities will bring with it the opportunity to continue to expand the UAE export economy. UAE manufacturers can leverage the financial support and protection of ADEX to grow their international operations at a time when overseas buyers continue to face supply chain disruption and liquidity challenges and immediately contribute to our national Operation 300 billion goal.”


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