Doha, Qatar: Qatar Development Bank added to its list of prestigious awards with two new accolades from Global Finance magazine. The prestigious publication named QDB as Qatar’s Best SME Bank and Trade Finance Provider for 2024 in recognition of its achievements in supporting Qatari SMEs and offering diverse financing programs to foster the private sector.

Commenting on the awards, QDB CEO Mr. Abdulrahman Hesham Al-Sowaidi said “We are pleased with this international recognition, which represents the outcome of our efforts in developing services and financing solutions to empower SMEs and entrepreneurs. At QDB, we are committed to providing integrated services to entrepreneurs in terms of financing and development solutions both domestically and overseas through our general and specialized programs.”
“Through these programs, we ensure diversification in priority economic sectors, provide a pioneering and appropriate investment environment for businesses, and transform Qatar into an innovation and investment hub in accordance with Qatar’s Third National Development Strategy,” he noted.

Best SME Bank

Global Finance’s Best SME Bank award is considered one of the most prestigious honors when evaluating the performance of financial institutions around the world. Participating institutions were assessed during the April 2022-March 2023 period in terms of knowledge of SME markets and their needs, the breadth of the bank’s products and services as well as its market position and innovative offerings. Other secondary evaluation criteria covered the institution’s international reach, its partnerships, its employees’ expertise, the quality of its customer service, and how it managed risks and harnessed technology in its operations.

According to the magazine, QDB was able to serve SMEs through more than 40 financing programs tailored to the needs of entrepreneurs, disbursing around 1 billion QAR in direct loans between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023, raising QDB’s total financing to SMEs to approximately 6.7 billion QAR in addition to investing 74.84 million QAR in SMEs during the same period. 

QDB was also recognized for its digital initiatives in support of Qatar’s entrepreneurship ecosystem including the launch of the QDB Digital Portal and the bank’s various programs to finance digitization solutions. QDB also launched several initiatives in the field of sustainability, including its Green Financing program to support companies with sustainable business models through local and international partnerships and established National Guarantee Program to help companies mitigate the negative repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic. These initiatives reflect the bank’s commitment to accelerating the private sector’s adoption of emerging technologies and supporting the digital transformation of SMEs in accordance with Qatar’s National Development Strategy.

Best Trade Finance Provider 

QDB was named as the Best Trade Finance Provider in Qatar in recognition of its excellence in supporting export-oriented businesses during the first nine months of 2023. The award underscores the bank’s pivotal role in terms of providing access to financing solutions and international markets, its share of total outstanding loans, the volume of financed transactions and the extent of its commitment to expanding its technology investments, the scope of its operations, and its suite of products and financing solutions.

QDB’s efforts enabled over 1.21 billion QAR in exports in the first nine month of 2023 with 215 companies benefiting from the bank’s export development and promotion initiatives and programs. The bank also offered training programs to equip businesses and entrepreneurs with the necessary skills and expertise to access global markets, leading to an increase in export-oriented businesses. Today, 70 percent of the bank’s customers leverage its digital services.

QDB continues to develop and diversify its services and financing solutions in cooperation with local financial institutions and is pursuing new initiatives in the field of digital transformation while expanding its operations to support the private sector.