Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Emirates Development Bank ("EDB" or "the Bank"), a key financial engine for the economic development and industrial advancement of the UAE, last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Paraguay’s Development Finance Agency (Agencia Financiera de Desarrollo, AFD), establishing a strategic partnership between the two parties. The signing was witnessed by Mr. José Agüero AvilaAmbassador of Paraguay to the United Arab Emirates.

EDB and AFD will harness their respective resource advantages and professional expertise, to build a long-term, effective, and mutually beneficial relationship in the areas of employee skill training, agritech and food security financing solutions, impact evaluation and digitalization of processes especially in support of SMEs.

Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, Chief Executive Officer of EDB, said:  "We are committed to strengthening our partnerships with leading international finance and banking institutions to boost knowledge-sharing, and enhance our economic and social impact. Today's MoU with Paraguay’s Development Finance Agency presents a powerful platform for us to expand our capabilities and further empower SMEs and large corporates in sectors of national priority in line with the UAE's industrial and economic development strategies. We are delighted to collaborate with AFD and leverage their outstanding capabilities and professional expertise in agritech financing and the digitalization of financing processes while sharing our vast expereiences in financing SMEs and providing smooth and flexible access to capital. We look forward to working togther to make a positive impact and achieve mutual success."

For her part, Mrs. Teresa Velilla, President of Agencia Financiera de Desarrollo, said: "We are excited to sign this MoU with Emirates Development Bank. We believe the agreement will deliver a wide range of benefits to both sides with a focus on capacity building and access to expert resources to help develop products and processes that make it easier for SMEs to get access to finance. EDB's wealth of first-hand experience working with a large number of SMEs will be important to understanding what these enterprises need in order to accelerate their growth and strengthen their economic contribution. Similarly, AFD's experience in financing agritech businesses and using technology and digital solution will help both sides accelerate financing innovation to promote economic growth."

About Emirates Development Bank:

Emirates Development Bank [EDB] the UAE’s development bank, is a key financial engine for the economic development and industrial advancement of the UAE. EDB provides financial and non-financial support to businesses of all sizes from start-ups, SMEs to corporates driving economic competitiveness across five strategic priority sectors: advanced technology, food security, healthcare, renewables, and manufacturing. EDB was established under Federal Law by Decree No. 07 of 2011 issued by the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; and became operational in June 2015. For more details, visit www.edb.gov.ae