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dedc signs mou with noor islamic bank for sme profiling & rating move to foster uae growth as export & re-export hub.

The Dubai Export Development Corporation (DEDC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Dubai-headquartered Noor Islamic Bank to implement a series of initiatives aimed at fostering the growth of the UAE as a global export and re-export hub.

Under the MOU framework, Noor Islamic Bank will support DEDC with its rating and profiling of Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) which aims in the long-term to identify and assist SMEs with export expansion potential.

"We are convinced that the local SME sector has huge export potential but perhaps lacks the financial resources and cross-border trade knowledge to tap into this growth sector," explained DEDC Chief Executive Officer, Engineer Saed Al Awadi.

"Together with Noor Islamic Bank we will be able to cover these essential gaps and help drive SME business forward."

As part of the MoU, Noor Islamic Bank will prepare detailed profiles of SMEs which have been identified through market research as potential growth engines. The bank will then assist those selected to prepare financial statements and apply for internationally-recognised credit and export ratings.

"The purpose of this alliance is to obtain internationally-recognised accreditation for SMEs within the UAE with the aim of opening up further export markets. An additional aim, and one which is in line with the overall vision of the UAE Government, is to promote internationally-recognised best practice standards throughout the country's SME sector," explained Hussain Al Qemzi, Group CEO, Noor Islamic Bank.

The two MOU partners will also work together to encourage multi-national companies to establish regional distribution operations in the UAE. Noor will assist by offering specific financial products aimed at the multi-national sector.

"Noor will provide Islamic financial solutions, including packing and post shipment finance, secured against confirmed orders or bank accepted drafts for the first leg of shipment financing," added Al Qemzi.

Meanwhile, DEDC says it is progressing the development of its proposed 'One Stop Export Infosource' portal which Noor Islamic Bank will support by providing access to mutually-agreed financial and banking services.

"We are currently examining the possibility of Noor Islamic Bank customers having access to the portal at all of our branches," said Al Qemzi.

DEDC and the bank are also studying ways of jointly providing training to the SME sector on export financing and credit rating.

"There is a lack of knowledge in the UAE about export and re-export facilities and we believe that if we can spread awareness of these, the SME sector will seize opportunities that otherwise they may have been reluctant to take up," said Al Awadi.

About Dubai Export Development Corporation:Established in 2006, the Dubai Export Development Corporation (DEDC) is an autonomous organisation under the directive of the Government of Dubai. Its vision is to be a world-class model in assisting and facilitating exporters, by creating an enabling environment for exports, with the aim of enhancing the competitiveness of Dubai as a preferred trading partner.

The DEDC has moulded its mission to identify and effectively deliver value-added trade support services to Dubai export enterprises for accelerated and profitable expansion of their business in foreign markets.

About Noor Islamic Bank Founded in 2006 in Dubai, Noor Islamic Bank stands as a global icon, transforming the offering and experience of modern Islamic banking to meet the needs of today's consumers. A full service bank, Noor Islamic Bank delivers the broadest range of products for its consumers, with an emphasis on unique and personalised services. Noor Islamic Bank's products and services are governed by a Shari'ah Board, comprising leading Islamic scholars with extensive experience and expertise in legal, financial and banking-related matters.

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Date:Jan 31, 2008
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