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The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) entered into a cooperation and referrals agreement between the innovation teams of each authority. The agreement mainly echoes the commitment of both authorities to help design an environment that supports the sustainable development of financial services through emerging technology.

"We are pleased to formalize an agreement with MAS to support the growth of innovation in financial services", said DFSA's chief executive Ian Johnston. "The cooperation between MAS and the DFSA will help create synergies and greater understanding between our two markets and will enable fintech firms to extend their reach globally."

A referral mechanism is at the heart of the agreement, thus enabling the authorities to refer innovator businesses between their respective innovation functions. It also allows them to share and use information on innovation in their respective markets.

Both authorities have expressed their readiness to work on joint projects exploring use cases of new technologies such as digital and mobile payments, blockchain and distributed ledgers, big data, flexible platforms (API).

Both MAS and the DFSA are members of the recently established Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), which includes 12 financial regulators and associated organizations from around the world and seeks to share best practice on financial innovation in order to improve financial stability, integrity, customer outcomes and inclusion.

The cooperation agreement follows a pertinent MoU that was signed between the two entities in 2008 and was meant to provide a formal cooperation framework in the fields of banking, insurance and capital markets, and facilitate the exchange of information for supervisory purposes.