Top level DIFC delegation completes mission to Indian state

Dubai International Financial Centre chases more Indian FinTech businesses during trip to Maharashtra
Top level DIFC delegation completes mission to Indian state
By Sam Bridge
Mon 29 Jul 2019 06:48 PM

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has completed a successful mission to the state of Maharashtra, India as it looks to further develop its financial technology (FinTech) eco-system.

The delegation, which was led by Essa Kazim, governor of DIFC, and Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, explored mutually beneficial partnerships with Indian firms and financial institutions.

During the visit, high-level meetings took place in Mumbai and the wider Maharashtra region, highlighting DIFC as an ideal base for Indian firms looking to expand their operations across the Middle East, a statement said.

As part of the visit, DIFC and the Government of Maharashtra signed an agreement to mutually support FinTech start-ups based in their respective markets, whilst facilitating the development of their business ecosystems through collaboration and the sharing of resources.

Amiri said: “Our partnership with the Government of Maharashtra reinforces the robust and collaborative business relationship between Dubai and India, as well as DIFC’s strategic goal to drive the future of finance through an enabling business environment.

"Indian FinTechs are proving to be pioneers in the field, presenting an exciting prospect for the region to be a global leader in the space. We are dedicated to nurturing this growth through strategic international partnerships and knowledge-sharing with like-minded public organisations such as the Government of Maharashtra.”

The DIFC FinTech ecosystem includes two accelerator programmes offered by DIFC FinTech Hive and Startupbootcamp, which respectively support early-stage startups and their growth.  In addition, startups based in the DIFC gain access to a $100 million FinTech fund.

SVR Srinivas, principal secretary directorate of Information Technology, Government of Maharashtra, said: “The Government of Maharashtra shares DIFC’s core objective of fostering next-generation innovation that will enable financial empowerment and technological advancement across the entire financial services ecosystem... we are confident that this partnership will bring further opportunities for ongoing collaboration within the realms of financial technology and innovation.”

DIFC is home to more than 100 Indian financial firms and consultancies.

The number of financial companies operating in DIFC rose 11 percent during the first half of 2019, even as a slowing global economy forced some banks to cut jobs.

Almost 2,290 companies, including 671 financial firms, are now based in the tax-free business park with the number of jobs increasing by 660 to more than 24,000.

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