Spain and the MEASA region strengthen economic ties through strategic DIFC and Madrid Centro Financiero partnership

Published September 26th, 2010 - 07:12 GMT

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the financial and business hub serving the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the DIFC Authority and the Madrid Centro Financiero (MCF). The MoU supports bilateral relations and encourages investment between the MEASA region and Spain.

The MoU was signed by Dr. Nasser Saidi, Chief Economist and Head of External Relations of the DIFC Authority, and Antonio Beteta Barreda, President of the MCF, at a seminar in Madrid attended by a senior delegation from Dubai, led by Dr. Saidi.

Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre, said:

"The signing of this MoU will significantly strengthen ties between the MEASA region and Spain. It will see the MCF providing the DIFC Authority access to Spanish institutions which are interested in expanding internationally and the DIFC Authority providing MCF with similar support.

"The DIFC, as the global financial and business hub of the MEASA region, is responsible for developing not just the centre itself, but the region as a whole. Signing this MoU will create new investment streams for businesses, organisations and investors throughout the region, which can only support and encourage economic growth."

Dr. Nasser Saidi, Chief Economist and Head of External Relations of the DIFC Authority, said:

"The UAE and Spain already have established trade and investment links; the UAE is the largest destination of Spanish exports in the GCC which are worth over €1 billion. The signing of this MoU takes this relationship one step further, by establishing a gateway for institutions and companies from the entire MEASA region into not only Spain but also as far as Latin America. It will raise investors' awareness of potential opportunities between Spain and the MEASA region, which otherwise would not have been realised. Both sides will endeavour to provide access to their financial and business communities."

Another aspect of the MoU is the commitment to develop joint initiatives in the field of Islamic finance, including the development of legal and regulatory frameworks. The DIFC and MCF will be exploring ways to foster Islamic financial activities on a cross-border scale between the MEASA region and Spain, such as trading of sukuk and other Sharia compliant instruments.

 Hissa Abdulla Ahmed Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to Spain, commented:

"The UAE enjoys today a unique financial position on both regional and international levels, while Spain is the ninth largest economy worldwide and one of the most dynamic in Europe. This accord will further strengthen the relationship between the two countries and we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead of us."

Antonio Beteta Barreda, President of the Madrid Centro Financiero said:

"Signing this MoU with the DIFC gives us a unique access to not only Dubai and the UAE, but also the entire MEASA region. Partnerships such as this are opportunities for both parties to realise avenues for investment and collaboration. We are particularly excited about working closer with the DIFC and the MEASA region, as it is one of the fastest growing business and finance hubs in the world today."

The MoU will also promote and strengthen links between financial markets in the MEASA, Iberian and the Latin American regions. This would include promotion, where possible, of the listing and co-listing of Spanish, European Union and Latin American securities in Dubai, on the one hand, and the listing and co-listing of Dubai and MEASA securities in Madrid, on the other hand.

The DIFC has already signed a number of MoUs, including Paris, Luxembourg, HK and has plans to sign more with emerging markets and China. 

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