The Emirates Development Bank, has reaffirmed its commitment to attract innovators and startups from across the globe, in line with its continuous efforts to reinforce the UAE’s position as an international hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Speaking at the Greek Innovation Business Forum, Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, Chief Executive Officer of EDB, highlighted the UAE’s National Innovation Strategy and programmes and the bank’s mandate to support entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem in the country.
The forum, held at the Sustainability District at Expo 2020 Dubai, was hosted by His Excellency Dr Christos Dimas, Deputy Minister of Development and Investment of Greece. The event was attended by His Excellency Ioannis Smyrlis, Secretary General for International Economic Affairs of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Commissioner General of Greece.
In his comments, Al Naqbi emphasized the strong trade and economic ties between the UAE and Greece. “The total trade between the UAE and Greece was worth 298.2 million euros in 2020,” Al Naqbi said, adding that the relations are poised for stronger growth in the wake of the two countries pursuing mutually supportive partnerships.
Talking about innovation and startups, Al Naqbi said: “The contribution of the startups and entrepreneurs in any growth journey and economic order cannot be overemphasized. The UAE is committed to support entrepreneurs and startup ecosystem and has launched a series of initiatives to support the strategy. At EDB, we are committed to play a key role in enhancing the UAE’s economic attractiveness as a hub for pioneering and innovative industries.”
He added: “In light of this strategy, we have committed to provide AED 30 billion in financial support to enterprises, including the SME and startup segments, that are involved in priority industrial sectors, namely manufacturing, healthcare, infrastructure, food security and technology. We look forward to welcoming investors and startups from Greece to the UAE.”
The forum was attended by a delegation comprised of 16 Greek startups for Elevate Greece – the official platform and leading resource on the Greek startup ecosystem, seven Greek research centres and one innovation and technology park. The Greek delegation’s visit was aimed at attracting Emirati investors, business angels, venture capital financiers, startups, incubators, and research centres.