Abu Dhabi and Kazakhstan explore means to strengthen partnership - GulfToday

Abu Dhabi and Kazakhstan explore means to strengthen partnership

Abu Dhabi

Top officials during the meeting at the ADFD headquarters.

Khalifa Al Qubaisi, Deputy Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), received at the Fund’s headquarters Zhaslan Madiyev, Deputy Chairman of the Agency for Strategic Planning and Reform of Kazakhstan.

The meeting was attended by Rashed Al Kaabi, Director of Investment Department at ADFD and senior Kazakh government officials. They explored ways to develop the strategic and mutually beneficial relations, especially through infrastructure and investment projects.

Al Qubaisi highlighted the relations between the Fund and the government of Kazakhstan that had withstood the test of time. He pointed out that the Fund had supported Kazakhstan in its effort to achieve its sustainable development goals through financing strategic projects.

He added that the visit of Madiyev complemented the strong relations between the two. “More importantly, it presented an opportunity for the concerned parties to reinforce and develop their relations and expand cooperation through promotion of joint investments. As we discussed ways to further expand our cooperation in terms of economic development, we also explored potential areas for investment that would benefit our countries as we move forward.”

Madiyev explained that the Fund’s efforts were a testimony to the UAE’s commitment to promote sustainable development goals all over the world, as he expressed Kazakhstan’s desire to develop the relations with the Fund in the interest of both the UAE and his country.

Abu Dhabi Fund’s ties with Kazakhstan dates back 2001, when the Fund extended concessional loans for two projects worth Dhs75 million to boost social services and transport sectors. The projects not just improve the quality of life, but also helped the government to meet its sustainable development objectives.

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) is a leading national entity for economic development aid owned by the Abu Dhabi government.

Established in 1971, it aims to help emerging countries by providing concessionary loans to finance sustainable development projects as well as administering long-term investments and direct contributions.

In addition to managing development grants offered by the Abu Dhabi government, ADFD has adopted a policy of supporting the national economy and financing UAE private sector investments.

Since its inception, ADFD has marked developmental milestones in 97 developing countries. Spanning the last 49 years, the Fund’s development projects and investments, valued at Dhs104 billion, have helped the international community achieve sustainable economic growth as well as drive the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Earlier the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has extended Dhs53 million in financing on preferential terms to Bloom Education, making the company one of the first beneficiaries of the Fund’s Dhs1 billion initiative launched last year. The drive was aimed at helping national companies operating in vital economic sectors.

The agreement was signed by Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD; and Dr Rashid Khalfan Bin Amer Althakhri, member of the Board of Governors of Brighton College in the UAE, which are operated by Bloom Education, in the presence of Khalifa Al Qubaisi, Deputy Director General of ADFD, as well as other officials representing both sides.

Commenting on the occasion, Al Suwaidi said, “We are pleased to extend our support to Bloom Education. Education is of critical importance to us, especially as the UAE focuses on building a knowledge economy.” He said that the initiative was in line with the directives of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Directors of ADFD, to enable national companies to maintain their performance and upscale their operations.

Al Suwaidi added, “The Fund places the national economy as a top priority. Emirati companies are the key drivers of our economy and we are committed to supporting them. We will ensure that they maintain their performances and emerge stronger. Their success is the UAE’s success, as well as our achievement.”

Dr Rashid expressed his gratitude to ADFD, stating that the Fund’s contribution is important to the work of Bloom Education. “This is a recognition of our continuous effort to strengthen the UAE’s education sector. The financing will help us perform better as we make bigger plans for the future. It also comes at the right time, because it supports the hardship assistance we have provided to many of our pupils’ families who have been impacted by COVID-19. This assistance enabled pupils to continue their schooling with us.”

“The ADFD initiative met with an overwhelming response from national companies,” said Rashid Al Kaabi, Director of Investment at the Fund, adding that the Fund’s Technical Committee had already studied requests from 51 companies over the past months, out of which it had identified 20 as prospective candidates. “A series of applications has been approved, while the remainder are under review, with the final decision expected to be taken within the first half of this year.”

To qualify for funding under the Dhs1 billion initiative, a company must be registered in the UAE, while its annual returns should be no less than Dhs80 million.

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