Insights & Analyses

Singapore and Abu Dhabi announce fintech cooperation agreement

March 10, 2017

Two of the world’s largest growing financial service centers — Abu Dhabi and Singapore — will come together to advance technology in the financial industry, thanks to a landmark deal announced this week.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) on Wednesday inked the new cooperation agreement, which aims to foster collaborative fintech development between the two respective countries.

Technological advancement is a primary focus of the partnership, which institutes joint projects to explore advancements in blockchain, API and digital payments, among other emerging technologies.

In addition to supporting innovation in the financial services market, the agreement aims to increase mutual regulatory transparency.

“(This agreement) marks another step towards strengthening links between regulators, and fostering synergies in promoting innovation and developing capabilities through international co-operation,” said Sopnendu Mohanty, fintech lead for MAS. “The Agreement will open up new avenues and create opportunities for fintech firms in Singapore and Abu Dhabi looking to expand into each other’s markets.”

Singapore has established itself as a global FinTech hub, with a progressive regulatory environment fueling an expanding startup ecosystem. Last year, the city-state hosted its inaugural Singapore FinTech Festival, drawing 11,000 attendees from more than 50 countries.

Abu Dhabi is looking to continue building its native fintech industry after launching its own regulatory lab last fall.

“Asia and the MENA regions have immense growth potential and a large underserved financial sector,” said Richard Teng, head of the ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority. “We hope that through closer collaboration with like-minded FinTech hubs, we are able to leverage the strengths and expertise of our markets to more efficiently address the immediate needs of the industry in respective regions and anticipate the demands of the future.”