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UAE non-oil foreign trade during past months shows huge growth

The initial indicators of the country’s non-oil foreign trade during the past months showed significant growth, specifically in non-oil exports, which increased by over 17 per cent during the first quarter of 2022.

This was revealed by Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy on Sunday.

 Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), the UAE Federal export credit company, held its second board of directors meeting in 2022, chaired by Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the Board of Directors of ECI.

The virtual meeting discussed key economic performance indicators until May this year, along with its achievements in promoting domestic, regional, and international trade in terms of strengthening the UAE’s economic diversification, industrial, and non-oil export strategies.

“This positive performance is achieved against the backdrop of the current global economic challenges. The Ministry of Economy intends to further diversify the UAE’s export markets during the next phase of its growth strategy, and Etihad Credit Insurance plays a crucial role in supporting this mission in cooperation with its various partners involved in the development and its promotion of national exports at the federal and local levels.

During the meeting, he applauded ECI’s management and outstanding achievements in the first five months of 2022 with substantial contributions to the UAE’s economy, active participation in government initiatives, and its strong resolve to support UAE businesses and boost their competitiveness in foreign markets.

In line with the UAE leadership’s wise directives, Etihad Credit Insurance works under the comprehensive vision for the national economy that seeks to enhance economic diversification efforts and develop national non-oil exports. Through various undertakings, collaborations and trade credit solutions, ECI has supported SMEs by opening new markets and improving their competitiveness to support economic diversification policies and achieve the UAE vision and directions for the next stage of development,” Al Marri added.

As of May 2022, ECI enhanced the competitiveness of the UAE’s non-oil trade and export by issuing 7,307 revolving credit guarantees with a total guaranteed exposure of Dhs 4.8 billion, equivalent to Dhs 14.4 billion worth of short-term insured non-oil trade to over 111 countries. Benefiting 15 growth sectors, these secured guarantees covered Dhs 6.7 billion in international trade, Dhs 7.6 billion in domestic trade, Dhs 1.2 billion in medium/long-term trade and Dhs1.3 billion in political risk insurance.

The top sectors that benefited from ECI’s support include logistics (18 per cent), electrical equipment and electronics (18 per cent), machinery and equipment (16 per cent), metal industry (12 per cent), petrochemicals and chemicals (9 per cent), heavy industry (7 per cent), financial services and banks (6 per cent), pharma and healthcare (4 per cent), food and beverage (4 per cent), among others.

The breakdown of secured non-oil trade that ECI facilitated for each emirate for the past five months is as follows: Abu Dhabi (Dhs 1.9 billion); Dubai (Dhs 9.9 billion); Sharjah (Dhs1.5 billion), Ras Al Khaimah (Dhs504 million), Fujairah (Dhs 102 million), Ajman (Dhs 282 million), Umm Al Quwain (Dhs 159 million).

Also, the key destination countries for UAE’s exports and re-exports protected by ECI’s trade insurance coverage stretched across UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India, United Kingdom, Oman, Kuwait, United States, Italy, and Ghana.

At the meeting, the board had a strategic dialogue on ECI’s strategy for 2022-2026, which aims to develop non-oil exports to the UAE and provide solutions to challenges related to trade credit insurance or project financing solutions with a focus on SMEs and improving their export opportunities. And by launching numerous initiatives and unlocking bespoke credit insurance and finance solutions, the strategy also targets to intensify its efforts to realise the nation’s foreign trade and industrialisation ambitions.

The board also explored ways to further develop risk management, compliance, and internal audit organisation.

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Deputy Chairman of ECI Board of Directors, said: “The UAE takes it a priority to meet the varying needs of national companies and exporters, as well as reinforce the country’s leading position as a regional and international hub for re-exports. Etihad Credit Insurance’s renewed strategy, which is aligned with the UAE’s national agenda for non-oil export and its vision for the next 50 years, aims to ensure long-term and sustainable growth in the country. Based on this, ECI is focused on supporting sectors that diversify the economy towards non-oil GDP and bolstering sectors that are a national priority for economic self-reliance and those that offer stable growth for the future.”

Omar Ahmed Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, said: “Etihad Credit Insurance is a key partner in our efforts to advance the manufacturing sector and more than double its contribution to the UAE’s GDP. With its innovative range of export insurance and financing solutions that help large corporates and SMEs to expand, diversify and improve operational efficiency, they are integral in the nation’s comprehensive industrial strategy Operation 300bn and Make it in the Emirates.”