DUBAI- The UAE Ministry of Finance has joined forces with a global FinTech conference series to drive innovation, growth and investment in financial, banking and payments technology in the Middle East.

The strategic partnership with FinovateMiddleEast was announced by Younis Al Khouri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance, at an announcement event held in Dubai today, with senior government officials, heads of innovation and CEOs from top global financial institutions, FinTechs and startups.

Speaking at the event, Younis Al Khouri said, "We at the Ministry of Finance have been committed, and will pursue our commitment to support and explore ways to increase innovation within government and finance more broadly." "We have seen FinTech enter the popular consciousness in a big way this year due to developments in mobile payment technology, and the introduction of Blockchain technology that have ignited the public interest and pushed the sectors growth.""The Ministry has hosted regular FinTech seminars to help showcase modern technologies and their impact across the sector. It continues to be a key player in helping foster the investment environment in the UAE for tech entrepreneurs through the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund that is worth AED2 billion."During the partnership announcement event, a panel discussion on Innovation versus Digital Disruption: Perspectives from Banks and Fintechs featured speakers, including Jagadeshwaran Kothandapani, Managing Director, Cash Management Head, MENAT, Treasury and Trade Solutions at Citi; Sara Grinstead, Head of Innovation at RAKBank; and Michael Jesse, CEO and Co-Founder of RISQ.

The panel highlighted the need for collaboration and new partnerships to develop an effective FinTech ecosystem as well as embracing change, the latest payment technology and managing innovation risk.

Finovate has established itself as the leading showcase for FinTech innovation around the world, with five locations New York, Silicon Valley, London, Hong Kong and Dubai.

Taking place from 26-27 February, during UAE Innovation Month and Dubai Innovation Week, FinovateMiddleEast will bring together early-stage startups, leading established companies, media, financial service institutions and funders drawn by the opportunity to see the future of FinTech both regionally and globally.

Discussing Finovates entrance into the Middle East and invitation to participate in UAE Innovation Month, Heather Stowell, Vice President of the Finovate Group said, "Supporting FinTech globally is the crux of Finovate. We are excited to showcase the regions FinTechs, as well as grow the dialogue and interest in FinTech for the region and the UAE as a FinTech hub.

"The support from and partnership with the UAE Ministry of Finance will undoubtedly help to raise awareness of the event and its mission." With the UAE Ministry of Finance as the strategic partner, FinovateMiddleEast is supported by platinum sponsor UAE Exchange, silver sponsor Temenos, and bronze sponsor Loxon.

Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2017.