DMCC and Dubai SME to develop Shari'ah compliant trade finance platform for SMEs
DMCC, the world’s leading Free Zone for trade and enterprise in Dubai, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dubai SME, the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector.
The collaboration sets out to create a web-based trade finance platform for SMEs, where they pledge their assets for lending purposes. The platform will be Shari'ah-compliant, and operate under the DMCC Authority regulatory framework.
“We’re delighted to sign this MoU with Dubai SME. This cooperation between DMCC and Dubai SME opens a new avenue for funding and financing SMEs. We are all aware that SMEs have had a challenge securing financing to grow their businesses, this cooperation will be valuable to all SMEs based in Dubai,” Gautam Sashittal, CEO of DMCC, said.
Present at the signing ceremony was Gautam Sashittal, Chief Executive Officer of DMCC and HE Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai SME.
“The SME sector in the UAE has evolved remarkably during the past decade chiefly due to support from the government. Dubai SME is currently working on a SME 2021 Plan drawing on the emphasis given to innovation and entrepreneurship in the Dubai 2021 Plan. The focus of our plan is on encouraging and enabling people who have innovative ideas to turn them into successful business projects that add value to the national economy. Dubai SME has also varied programmes to stimulate growth and adoption of innovative business models among SMEs as well as to enhance productivity in the sector eventually integrating them as key players in a competitive, knowledge-based economy as envisioned by the Dubai Plan 2021,” HE Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, said.
“Dubai SME focuses on competitive solutions that support the entrepreneurial journey and enterprise life cycle. The MoU is among a series of such partnerships we continue to create after identifying a gap that existed in our SME landscape in terms of mobilising resources to overcome challenges and sustain growth.”
DMCC is committed to supporting the growth of SMEs in the UAE and the region. A partnership is in place with AstroLabs Dubai, the region’s premier co-working space for digital technology companies. AstroLabs Dubai enables high potential technology companies to establish themselves in Dubai. Earlier this year, DMCC also signed a partnership with Interns ME to help SMEs within the Free Zone to hire interns. In 2017, DMCC was named ‘World’s No. 1 Free Zone’ by Financial Times fDi Magazine for the third consecutive year as well as being presented with the awards for ‘Global and Middle East Free Zone of the Year for SMEs’.
“Today, DMCC has over 14,100 companies in our Free Zone. Almost 80 per cent of these companies are SMEs. We believe through this cooperation and creating SME funds, we will be able to grow the SME sector for the benefit of all,” Sashittal said.
DMCC is using Alternative International Management Services (AIMS) to make the platform Shari'ah-compliant. AIMS is an Islamic consultancy specialised in servicing the global Islamic finance market.