ABU DHABI, 15th August, 2023 (WAM) -- Abu Dhabi Exports Office (ADEX), the export-financing arm of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), has signed an agreement with the Ministry of International Cooperation, Ministry of Finance, and the General Authority for Supply Commodities in Egypt.
The agreement entails a revolving financing programme valued at US$100 million, with annual renewals planned over a 5-year term, ultimately reaching a total of US$500 million. This initiative aims to facilitate the provision of wheat and essential commodities to the General Authority for Supply Commodities through Al Dahra Agriculture, an Emirati company.
On the UAE's side, the agreement was signed by Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, the Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and Chairman of the Exports Executive Committee at the Abu Dhabi Exports Office (ADEX).
The Egyptian side was represented by Dr. Rania Al Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, who signed the framework agreement, while Dr. Mohamed Moait, Minister of Finance, validated the funding guarantee.
Ahmed Youssef Mansour, Vice President of the General Authority for Supply Commodities, completed the proceedings by signing the financing agreement.
The signing ceremony was attended by distinguished officials including Khalil Al Mansoori, the Acting Director General of the Abu Dhabi Exports Office; as well as many senior officials from both the UAE and Egypt.
Al Suwaidi, emphasised that the agreement exemplified the exceptional relations between the UAE and Egypt, showcasing the commitment of both nations' leadership to mutual growth and development across various sectors. The agreement further demonstrates the efforts of ADFD to maintain strategic cooperation with the Egyptian government, ultimately facilitating an increase in trade exchange to foster economic benefits for both countries.
"The collaboration among the Abu Dhabi Exports Office, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, and Al Dahra will play a pivotal role in fortifying the strategic reserves of essential agricultural commodities, thereby ensuring the food security of the Egyptian market. Through this agreement, ADEX is committed to facilitating credit that will further bolster the export landscape," Al Suwaidi added.
In her statement, Dr. Rania Al Mashat elucidated that the new agreement signifies the profoundness of the strategic ties between Egypt and the UAE. The two nations are committed to augmenting economic integration and advancing joint development endeavours.
Dr. Al-Mashat further clarified that the agreement's revolving financing mechanism aims to fulfill the local wheat market's requirements in line with the measures adopted by the Egyptian government to bolster food security through soft development funds.
She emphasised the continuous cooperation, coordination, and technical collaboration among the ministries of international cooperation, finance, and supply to finalise the agreement.
The minister conveyed her gratitude for the enduring development cooperation between Egypt and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, a partnership that originated in 1974. This collaboration has led to the funding of over 20 projects valued around AED4.5 billion across various priority sectors, directly benefiting citizens, particularly in fields like water, health, housing, transportation, and agricultural development. Notably, the UAE's support has contributed to the establishment of 25 silos in 17 governorates, increasing wheat storage capacity by 1.5 million tons.
Dr. Al-Mashat added that upcoming discussions will focus on exploring further areas of cooperation aligned with Egypt's developmental priorities and the realization of Egypt's Vision 2030.
"Al Dahra works towards sustainably feeding our growing world, and this agreement aligns with our purpose in one of the key markets in the region, Egypt," said Arnoud van den Berg, Group CEO of Al Dahra. "This agreement highlights our commitment to food security in the countries we operate in and complements our efforts from our farms in Egypt. Over the past 3 years, we have supplied over 180,000 tonnes of wheat at the prevailing local market price making us the largest local private sector local supplier of wheat to the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC)," he added.
He noted that Al Dahra already farms 28,000 hectares of land in Egypt that help sustain the country's food security by producing staple crops. It is the largest private sector producer of wheat and corn in Egypt in addition to the production of onions, sugar beet, sesame, citrus, sorghum as well as forage for the livestock. Nearly 85% of all food produce outputs from Al Dahra's Egyptian farms are supplied locally, helping reduce the import burden for the government. Globally, Al Dahra's production output of grains and oilseeds output is approximately 600,000 metric tonnes.
Abu Dhabi Exports Office, established by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development in 2019, plays a vital role in supporting national exports by offering financing solutions to enable Emirati companies to expand their business reach and enhance competitiveness in global markets. The office also provides financing and guarantees for foreign importers purchasing goods and services from Emirati exporters, ensuring favorable terms and competitive advantages, thus contributing to companies' long-term growth and diversification of income sources in the national economy.