Abu Dhabi Global Market, the UAE capital’s financial free zone and Bahrain Economic Development Board (BEDB) have signed a fintech cooperation deal with the aim of attracting investment.
The agreement, described as a first in the Middle East and North Africa region, will see the two promote economic growth in financial services.
It will include the exchange of information on trends, services and products, cooperation in financial technology and Islamic finance, academic knowledge transfer, accelerator programmes and mutual promotion of technologies like digital payments and blockchain.
Start-ups will also have the ability to access information from each jurisdiction through one point of contact.
“Together, we advocate and see the MENA region as a continuous whole and look to leverage each other’s strengths to anchor a vibrant fintech ecosystem,” said Richard Teng, CEO of the financial services regulatory authority at ADGM.
“I look forward to continuing to work closely with our partner in building a more connected, collaborative network among our fellow regulators in the MENA region to cater to the rapid pace of FinTech growth here.”
Abu Dhabi, neighbouring Dubai and Bahrain have pitched themselves as fintech hubs through accelerator programmes and experimental licensing regimes for start-ups.
However, BEDB’s executive director of financial services, David Parker, said the MENA region had only received about 1 per cent of the $50bn in global investment seen so far in the financial technology sector