Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs
Abu Dhabi - Arabstoday
The UAE yesterday announced the establishment of the Emirates Development Bank (EDB), with a capital of Dh10 billion, to spur economic growth, provide citizens with access to housing and set up development projects.
In a statement, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, announced the issuance of Federal Law No. 7 and said that the bank will help promote a diversified economy built on innovation, provide citizens with suitable housing, and allow the establishment of development projects.
The EDB will also provide a range of financing and savings solutions to help citizens own houses through "reasonable monetary schemes".
Dr Nasser Saidi, chief economist at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) told Gulf News: "It's excellent to have a dedicated bank for development finance.
"It will mean that you can address regional gaps in economic development across the various emirates and therefore, regional infrastructure will get addressed better because the bank can provide financing for such infrastructure."
He added: "This in turn would have a positive effect on the integration of the infrastructure such as power, transportation and related projects.
"It would also enhance the federal government's role in economic and social development and therefore, strengthen the unity among the emirates."
Abu Dhabi-based economist Dr Mohammad Amerah said the timing of the EDB's establishment couldn't have been better.
"This is the right time for establishing such a bank. It may act just like the World Bank for the UAE economy by financing socio-economic development projects," he said.
Al Tayer said that the new law was established to support the UAE's various development initiatives, including industrial and real estate projects, and to facilitate real estate credit applications for building, maintaining, and renovating residential properties.
The EDB will also offer financing services for agricultural and craftsmanship activities, residential and building projects on behalf of the UAE Government, infrastructure projects, small and medium enterprises, and projects pertaining to organisations that provide public benefit.
The bank will also offer financial and economic consultation and feasibility studies.
The development was "in line with the vision of the UAE Government to support the nation's economic development and to guarantee coverage of all its short and long-term development requirements," the statement added.