Friday 17 September 2021 - 10:47:44 pm

Agreement signed to boost global competitiveness of UAE’s industrial sector

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ABU DHABI, 27th July, 2021 (WAM) -- The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) and Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to inject capital into the UAE’s industrial sector and support local industrialists.

The new MoIAT-ECI partnership offers a package of financial incentives to support UAE exports, offer financing facilities for manufacturers and advanced technology projects, guarantees for industrial loans, an umbrella insurance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and assistance in securing intellectual property rights for startups.

Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Under-Secretary of MoIAT, and Massimo Falcioni, CEO of ECI, inked the MoU formalising the collaboration.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two entities aim to provide products and facilities to support key industrial sectors with a focus on the priority areas of Operation 300bn – MoIAT’s National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology. They will also form a permanent taskforce to implement initiatives that contribute to driving the growth of the industrial and advanced technology sectors in the UAE.

The Ministry seeks to promote ECI’s trade solutions – including trade credit insurance, trade finance, export finance, project finance, loan repayment, equity insurance for startups and micro-SMEs, and ‘Click & Cover’ online solution for SMEs – through the Make it in the Emirates campaign. ECI, in turn, will contribute to attaining Operation 300bn’s goal of enhancing the competitiveness of UAE industrial companies in international markets.

The collaboration will also involve other financial institutions and development banks in improving the current offerings and developing innovative products that meet the needs of the industrial and advanced technology sectors.

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, said that the partnership is "an important step in boosting the global competitiveness of the UAE’s industrial sector".

"The array of financial incentives and facilities offered through the new partnership will help stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship among the UAE’s leading industrialists as they seek to fully integrate advanced technologies and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) solutions into their production lines," he added.

Dr. Al Jaber noted that the agreement is fully aligned with the UAE leadership’s vision of making the industrial sector a key driver of sustainable future economic growth.

"Cooperation with a major national institution such as ECI will make products made in the UAE easier to access for new global markets while enhancing their competitive advantage and improving the performance of local industry. It will also help forge new economic sectors and consolidate the UAE’s position as a global hub for innovation and a leader in industries of the future," he added.

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade and Deputy Chairman of ECI Board of Directors, said, "Easing access to trade and project financing will help advance Operation 300bn and Make it in the Emirates to generate more than double the value of the output of the national manufacturing and industrial sector in the next ten years.

"We believe this collaboration will play a crucial role in boosting the confidence of UAE businesses, thereby enabling them to increase the contribution of the industrial sector in the country's non-oil GDP."

Falcioni, in turn, stated that this agreement will enhance industrial sector and attract local and international investment. ECI has always been a catalyst in expanding UAE's business sector through a range of export credit, financing, and investment insurance products. "As the UAE Federal export credit company, our suite of innovative trade credit and project financing solutions and services can play a vital role in supporting the 'Operation 300bn' and 'Make it in the Emirates' initiatives by the government," he said.

As of May 2021, ECI enhanced the competitiveness of the UAE non-oil trade and export by issuing 4,039 revolving credit guarantees in excess of AED2.5 billion, equivalent to AED7.5 billion worth of non-oil trade to over 85 countries and eased trade and project finance through guarantees for AED1.16 billion.

A detailed review of the performance has revealed that among the sectors that benefited from ECI's guarantees include cable, steel, petrochemicals, building materials, packaging, automotive, energy, utilities, healthcare, and food.

Despite the economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, ECI's continued support of UAE trade and export has helped to protect businesses' cash flows and eased SME's access to trade finance, accelerating economic recovery during this period. These measures provided access to new markets to UAE's exporters and re-exporters.

WAM/Rola Alghoul/MOHD AAMIR