UAE banking free zone, French innovation cluster sign MoU


Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) said on Sunday it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on financial technology (FinTech) with Finance Innovation, a Paris-based official innovation cluster for the financial industry.
Through an announcement on its website, DIFC said this cooperation “will support the development of the FinTech ecosystem in both markets and facilitate knowledge sharing between regulatory and financial communities.”
The MoU was signed by Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, and Joelle Durieux, CEO of Finance Innovation, as a key part of the FinTech Community Conference that took place in Paris earlier last week.
“We will explore potential collaboration related to our FinTech funds and strengthen efforts to support the growth of the regional FinTech and venture capital ecosystem,” Amiri said.
Durieux noted “Dubai is one of the fastest growing FinTech markets and DIFC has paved the way for small and medium-sized enterprises to develop and test their products within an internationally-recognized regulatory framework and a robust financial ecosystem.”
He added that the MoU would “ultimately allow French startups to expand their presence into the Middle East, Africa and South Asia to explore further prospects for growth.”
As part of the MoU, The Academy, an education center at DIFC, will potentially host an educational program on the latest FinTech and innovation trends, while FinTech Hive at DIFC will look to design a program tailored for the UAE and French FinTech startups.
DIFC launched in last November a FinTech-oriented fund worth 100 million U.S. dollars to accelerate the development of FinTech by investing in startups.
With 622 regulated entities and a FinTech community of over 50 firms, DIFC is the biggest financial free zone in the Middle East.—Xinhua

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