jafza partners with arab bank for investment and foreign trade to support smes and other enterprises licensed in the free zone

Published 1 February 2022

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Companies in the free zone can now trade with greater confidence, leveraging solutions from Al Masraf

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 18 October 2021: DP World UAE Region, home to the flagship Jebel Ali Port, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Arab Bank for Investment and Foreign Trade (Al Masraf) as part of its continuing support to the business operations of SMEs and other enterprises licensed within the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza). The agreement aims to strengthen DP World UAE Region commitment to facilitate the business activities of more than 8,700 customers operating within the free zone and achieve its goal of empowering SMEs and attracting entrepreneurs from around the globe to the free zone.  

The MoU was signed between Abdulla Bin Damithan, CEO & Managing Director of DP World UAE Region and Jafza and Charles Doghlass, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Al Masraf in the presence of senior officials from both parties. Through this partnership, Jafza will enable SMEs to streamline their financial processes such as account opening, financial documentation, and automation of the remediation process for its partners. The MoU will fully support both Jafza and Al Masraf in terms of record-keeping of the licensed businesses in the free zone.

Abdulla Bin Damithan, CEO & Managing Director, DP World – UAE Region and Jafza said, “Dubai’s economy has emerged from an entrepreneurial vision. Similarly, in Jafza, we have countless success stories of SMEs which are now international companies with global reach. We are committed to helping new startups achieve growth and success through our trading accelerators and business incubators. However, one of the most important aspects that will help us retain our leading status as a trusted business hub is partnerships with financial institutions. We are always looking to associate with leading banks and our partnership with Al Masraf will help accelerate our efforts to support the business growth of SMEs in the free zone.”

Bin Damithan added, “Our agreement comes at an important time as EXPO 2020 Dubai is rapidly approaching to serve as a gateway for many business opportunities for SMEs and startups. The MoU will support both Jafza and Al Masraf to achieve our shared objective of enhancing economic and commercial engagement. We are confident that it will open new business and trade opportunities by enabling seamless transactions within the free zone.”     

Charles Doghlass, Acting – Chief Executive Officer, Al Masraf, remarked: “In line with UAE government’s ambition to enhance the contribution and performance of the SME sector as the SME represents 94% of the total number of companies operating in the country providing jobs for more than 86% of private sector workforce, Al Masraf is proud to partner with DP World UAE Region in its relentless efforts to enhance and facilitate the business setup and operations of SMEs within Jafza. We believe that SMEs and startups are vital to the growth of the economy and enabling them to take advantage of premium financial services will simplify their operations and enhance their ease of doing business. We have been assigned as a Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of ‘A’ in 2020 & 2021 by the leading global credit rating agency Fitch Ratings, and this achievement only demonstrates the bank’s resilience and efficiency. We are confident that through this partnership, we will be able to provide the essential support for SMEs and startups in Jafza based on quality and excellence.”
Jafza has over the years joined hands with several financial institutions underpinning its business community that is one of the largest in the region. The MoU comes at a time when the UAE economy is regaining its position to bounce back from the impact of the pandemic, which has given rise to complexities for SMEs to avail themselves of financial incentives.

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