Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 August 2019

Abu Dhabi launches Dh2.5bn fund to develop defence sector

The fund will start financing programmes in the last quarter of the year

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, views a vehicle at the Al Masaood Automobiles stand at the 2017 International Defence Exhibition and Conference. Hamad Al Kaabi / Crown Prince Court – Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, views a vehicle at the Al Masaood Automobiles stand at the 2017 International Defence Exhibition and Conference. Hamad Al Kaabi / Crown Prince Court – Abu Dhabi

Tawazun Economic Council, which is tasked with the development of a sustainable defence and security industry in the UAE, launched a Dh2.5 billion fund to bolster the sector’s contribution to the local economy.

The council set up the fund to encourage the private sector to invest in defence and security, and contribute to the development of national and technological industries, including small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Tareq Al Hosani, chief executive of Tawazun Economic Council, said on Wednesday. The Defence and Security Development Fund will play a vital role in supporting the private sector to meet the strategic needs of the state – through bringing forward innovative solutions, he added.

The UAE, particularly Abu Dhabi, is beefing up efforts to create employment and innovation through its defence industry. Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi’s strategic investment firm with more than $220bn in assets, and Tawazun Holding are shareholders in Emirates Defence Industries Company.

Edic has about 15 companies under its umbrella, including Nimr Automotive armoured vehicles maker, which is exporting its products.

The fund will focus on strategic technology investments and intellectual property, strengthening innovation and industrial capabilities and the development of SMEs and local companies, said Abdullah Al Jaabari, who is the fund's head.

The fund will offer the enterprises that benefit from its services a bundle of facilities which include loans at reduced interest rates as well as attractive long-term repayment plans, he added.

The fund will launch specialised financing programmes in the last quarter of the year, and will announce the financing terms for each programme. Financing will depend on the strategic significance of a project to the defence and security sector as well as on its economic feasibility, and impact on individuals and the local economy.

Next week, Abu Dhabi will host a five-day international defence exhibition where UAE officials expect to sign deals exceeding Dh19bn.

Updated: February 17, 2019 10:02 AM

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