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Ministry Of Finance Signs MoU With ADGM And IBRD To Establish The International Technology Centre In UAE
(2 May 2019)

UAE Ministry of Finance (MoF), driven by its constant efforts to push the economic development of the country forward and in an attempt to provide innovative financial technology services (FinTech) to maintain an efficient growth in the financial sector, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with both; Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) early today.

The MoU aims to establish an International Technology Centre (ITC) in the UAE, and came at the sideline of the launching event of the Gulf Economic Monitor initiative, spring 2019. The event is held by the Ministry of Finance in partnership with Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and the World Bank Group (WBG) under the title of: "Building the Foundations for Economic Sustainability: Human Capital and Growth in the GCC."

The MoU was signed in the premises of Abu Dhabi Global Market by each Younis Haji Al Khoori, Undersecretary of MOF for the Emirati side, Dhaher bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO of the Registration Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market and Dr. Issam Abousleiman, Country Director of the GCC Countries, Middle East and North Africa.

Younis Haji Al Khoori confirmed, in commentary on the signing of the MoU, that the UAE is committed to the participation in the realisation of economic development, financial sustainability and economic diversity through adopting new innovative technologies and consolidating the UAE's position as an international centre for FinTech. He also noted that the conclusion of this agreement comes in consistency with the Ministry's concern on strengthening its relationships with different active international financial entities and institutions with the World Bank Group and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development in the leading positions among them.

Younis Haji Al Khouri said, "The International Technology Centre of the UAE shall take the achievement of the common goals of the UAE and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) as its main task, and shall provide a platform that offers the exchange of experiences and best practices in the field of legislations and financial policies formulation, by encouraging the adoption of the latest modern techniques by governments and private and public sectors alike."

Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State (UAE) and Chairman of ADGM, said: "ADGM is pleased to work with the Ministry of Finance and World Bank to further develop the technology start-up ecosystem and build a community of leading global and local technology companies. The UAE has been a strategic partner of the World Bank Group and through this MoU, ADGM will strengthen this partnership. We look forward to collaborating to reinforce global initiatives that promote the long-term economic growth and development of the community. As an International Financial Centre, ADGM supports the government plans of achieving economic diversification and contributes to the competitiveness of the UAE market, by acting as a catalyst of growth for innovation and technology."

As per the MoU, the International Technology Centre (ITC) is decided to be established in the office of International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) in Abu Dhabi and is anticipated to be the location of concluding financial partnerships and agreements bringing together governments and private sectors' companies both on the regional and international levels. The ITC centre is meant to support the efforts exerted for the application of FinTech and Digital Economy in the MENA region. The Centre shall enable the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to practice its developmental operations in the region, after consulting the involved parties of the MoU.

Dr. Issam Abousleiman said: "The choice of the UAE as an international technology center comes from its pioneering role in promoting innovation, supporting youth and women, and harnessing technology to promote development. These key pillars are the focus of WBG’s strategy in the region, aiming to encourage investment in human capital, the digital economy and in supporting the private sector as an engine to create jobs for youth and women."

The conclusion of the MoU came at the sideline of the event launching of the Gulf Economic Monitor for Spring of 2019 on the 1st of May which was held in Abu Dhabi organised by the World Bank Group (WBG) in cooperation with the MOF and ADGM.

The event witnessed the publication of the biannual Gulf Economic Monitor report of the World Bank. The report highlights the key development achievements realized in the Gulf countries, by shedding the light on the comprehensive economic trends and the major challenges facing the GCC countries. The fourth edition of the Gulf Economic Monitor was issued under the title of: "Building the Foundations for Economic Sustainability: Human Capital and Growth in the GCC". The report came to particularly focus on reinforcing the importance of the development the human factor in the GCC countries.

The Gulf Economic Monitor event – spring 2019, inception was marked by a demonstration entitled: "The Heartbeat of the Region" that examined the economic developments in the GCC area. The Demo was presented by the Chief Economy Expert at the WBG, Dr. Khalid Al-Hamoud. Another demonstration under the title of: "Human Capital and Growht in the GCC" was later presented by Dr. Sameh Al-Saharati of the WBG. Dr. Al-Saharati's demo concluded the event by giving attendees the chance to submit their questions, for which they received reply from the experts and specialists honorable speakers at the event.

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