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Abu Dhabi Development Fund Doubles While Saudi Fund Creates Over 6,000 Jobs and Economic Diversification Spurs More Growth in Qatar

Middle East : 16 August 2013

Development Capital Doubles in Abu Dhabi

The available capital in the ADFD (or Abu Dhabi Fund for Development) has been increased to AED 16 billion (or $4.3 billion), with a focus extending across the entire UAE.

Besides the ADFD’s main role of promoting economic development within developing nations, the fund will also include the UAE in their coverage. The Abu Dhabi government has increased capital in the ADFD from AED 8 billion to AED 16 billion, fully subscribing into the development fund.

The original aim of the ADFD, back at the point of establishment in 1971, was the provision of aid to developing nations, delivered through concessionary loans and grants administered through the fund on behalf of the government of Abu Dhabi.

In the last forty years the ADFD has funded nearly AED 35 billion in loans, investments and grants marked for 325 projects in 59 nations across the globe.

Many different sectors are included in the ADFD’s funding, such as agriculture and irrigation, education, health, electricity, water, transportation and roads.

Saudi Centennial Fund Spurs the Creation of Over 6,000 Jobs

The Centennial Fund (or TCF) of Saudi Arabia has created over 6,000 new jobs, which accounts for almost one quarter of the 28,000 employment positions targeted for creation by 2020.

Abdulaziz Al Mutairi, TCF’s director general, noted that the next group of projects would push the initiative near capacity of $667 million (or SAR 2.5 billion), after beginning back in 2004 to assist young men and women from Saudi Arabia to establish their own businesses.

To increase the chance of success for companies established via TCF the fund signed agreements with several local and global institutions like Saudi Credit and Savings Bank, taking on the role of major financier for projects within the AME framework.

TCF made deals with the Wa’id Programme, involving funding of projects with values between SAR 300,000 and SAR 5 million, as well as the I’mar Fund, involving funding of projects in King Abdullah Economic City with values between SAR 300,000 and SAR 500,000.

Several Saudi Arabian universities have agreements with TCF, supporting the TCF’s activities within the Centennial Valley, launched back in 2011 for the encouragement of young entrepreneurs, and King Abdullah Economic City.

Several well known international partners are involved, including Intel, Microsoft and Blackberry Academy.

Qatar Non-Hydrocarbon Sector Grows Due to New Economic Zones

Diversification continues to thrive in Qatar, as the openings of three Economic Zones come onto the schedule in 2016 to 2017. The non-oil sector is set for growth of 7.6 percent this year, confirming Qatar’s place as the leading nation in terms of real non-oil sector growth rate.

Focus within the three scheduled economic zones remains on innovations, SMEs and start ups with the nation’s non-hydrocarbon sector.

Zone One covers about four square kilometers close to the Hamad International Airport and targets manufacturing businesses producing high-valued technology, as well as domestic and regional logistics firms. Air freight, pharmaceuticals, global warehousing and electronics will be assigned to Zone One.

Zone Two covers almost 12 square kilometers close to Doha Industrial Area, while Zone Three covers 34 square kilometers, includes logistics and maritime activities and is located near the New Port Project. Small to mid-sized industrial firms, including maritime companies, fit into these two zones featuring a high percentage of logistics companies.

President of QAFL, Ali bin Abdulatif Al Misnad, stated to local media that the current logistics industry in Qatar, valued at $150 million, is ready for major growth over the mid- to long term. More than 32 projects have begun in Qatar, with many other projects filing the pipeline, according to Al Misnad.

Based on the 2013 to 2014 Qatar Economic Outlook the nation’s non-hydrocarbon GDP, covering all economic activities beyond upstream gas and oil production, is forecasted for 9.8 percent growth this year and 10.3 percent growth next year. The services sector drives growth over both periods, expanding by 10 percent this year and 10.1 percent next year.

Manufacturing recorded 11.8 percent growth in output last year, while construction reported 10.6 percent growth, and services expanded by 9.2 percent. The sub-sector covering telecommunications and transport saw 12.1 percent growth.

The first of the three scheduled zones should open by the close of 2016, with the last of the three set to open by mid-2017.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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