Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) the region, has undertaken a successful mission to the state of Maharashtra, India. The delegation was led by Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, and Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority.
During the visit, high-level strategic meetings took place in Mumbai and the wider Maharashtra region, highlighting DIFC as a leading global financial center and the ideal base for Indian firms looking to expand their operations across the MEASA region. The meetings were set up to discuss DIFC’s strategic plans and the Centre’s roadmap for growth, while exploring mutually beneficial partnerships with Indian firms and financial institutions.
In addition, DIFC partnered with integrated financial house Phillip Capital to engage key business and industry leaders from across a variety of sectors including infrastructure development, construction, logistics, automotive, manufacturing, technology, oil and gas, and hospitality. During this session, DIFC discussed market opportunities for family offices and reaffirmed its commitment to offering a specialised business ecosystem and the regulatory framework, as well as comprehensive support services, to help family businesses operate successfully in the region.
As part of the visit, DIFC and the Government of Maharashtra signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The agreement entails plans for both entities 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. The Centre’s innovative and flexible licensing allows Indian FinTech organisations the opportunity to scale their businesses across the region by providing tailored solutions to support their growth in fast-growing emerging markets.
Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority, 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. Together we will continue to facilitate opportunities for firms to innovate within the MEASA’s burgeoning FinTech industry.”
The comprehensive DIFC FinTech ecosystem includes two highly successful accelerator programs offered by DIFC FinTech Hive and Startupbootcamp, which respectively support early-stage startups and their growth. In addition, startups based in the Centre gain access to a USD 100 million FinTech fund, subsidised licensing options, forward-thinking regulation and a financial the community of over 2,100 regional and global institutions, of which more than 80 are FinTech-related companies, enabling DIFC to act as a springboard for growth.
S.V.R. 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. At present, DIFC is home to more than 100 Indian financial firms, banks, sector specialists and consultancies and 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, such as ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Hinduja Bank Middle East, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Canara Bank, Axis Bank, IL & FS, Phillip Capital; Wealth and Asset Management firms including IIFL Private Wealth Management, Aditya Birla Sun Life Asset management, UTI International, L&T Capital Markets, Enam Asset Management, Taurus Wealth, Greenland Investment Management and Kitara Capital, alongside insurers such as The New India Assurance and HDFC International Life & Reinsurance.