The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mashreq, one of the leading financial institutions in the UAE, to initiate a partnership to drive the growth of the manufacturing industry in the country.

The move is part of the ministry’s “Make it in the Emirates” initiative that seeks to attract industrialists, investors, innovators, and entrepreneurs to leverage the UAE’s unique value proposition and set up base in the country. It also supports “Operation 300bn” to position the UAE as a global industrial hub and boost the manufacturing sector's contribution to the country’s GDP.

Under the terms of the agreement, Mashreq will promote sustainable growth in vital industrial sectors by providing its comprehensive suite of competitive financing solutions as well as advisory and banking services to local and foreign stakeholders in this field. In addition, Mashreq will allocate a fund of AED 1 billion for the industrial sector in the country.

Osama Amir Fadhel, Assistant Under-Secretary of the Industry Accelerators Sector at MoIAT, and Joel Van Dusen, Senior Executive Vice President, Head of the Corporate and Investment Banking Group at Mashreq, signed the MoU during the forum, currently underway at Abu Dhabi Energy Centre. Omar Al Suwaidi, Under-Secretary of MoIAT, witnessed the signing.

MoIAT organised the two-day forum with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). The event brought together the largest industrial companies and enablers from across the UAE to share their procurement plans and explore ways to translate them into local manufacturing investment opportunities.

Al Suwaidi said, "This partnership will enable manufacturing companies and help them to play an enhanced role in Operation 300 billion, as well as the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative. The ministry is committed to working with national financial institutions to empower members of the UAE’s industrial community and drive their digital transformation in line with national objectives.”

For his part, Joel Van Dusen commented, "It gives us great pleasure to partner with the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and be part of its industrial transformation agenda, especially that we among the first banks in the UAE to partner with MoIAT for supporting the manufacturing sector and the Make in Emirates agenda. In line with its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy, Mashreq is at the forefront of supporting corporates with sustainability-oriented financing solutions that enable them to adopt climate-friendly practices. We are keen to leverage our wide range of offerings to promote sustainable and green manufacturing as one of the main enablers of economic diversification in the UAE.”

Mashreq will provide its financing solutions, including Shari’ah-compliant products, to encourage the application of advanced technology in the industrial sector to reduce its carbon footprint. The solutions include green loans and bonds, sustainability-linked loans and bonds, transitional loans and bonds, social loans, trade finance, structured finance, and capital investments.

Mashreq will also make its advanced digital banking proposition available to manufacturing companies and build a custom application interface to offer tailored money management solutions and advice. In addition, the bank will support the ESG supply chain financing programme, finance business expansion plans, and promote growth in the exports of UAE companies through the Mashreq Global Network.

The partnership will benefit companies of all sizes, from SMEs to large corporates. Among the target clients are food manufacturing companies affiliated with the UAE Food and Beverage Business Group.