UAE, UK come together to enhance trade ties via strategic cooperation

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Representatives from ECI and UKEF participating in the meeting

UAE’s export credit agency, Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI) and UK Export Finance (UKEF) signed a reinsurance agreement to boost the competitiveness, size and reach of the export industry of both countries through strategic collaboration and cooperation.

The agreement was signed by Etihad Credit Insurance CEO, Massimo Falcioni and UK Export Finance CEO, Louis Taylor.

This deal aims to provide a comprehensive turnkey forum that can be used by both parties to unlock new market opportunities and identify areas for potential cooperation to promote a greater UAE-UK trade alliance.

ECI and UKEF have entered into this agreement to work towards strategic collaboration in areas such as;

  • Exploration of mutual possibilities for insurance, reinsurance, co-insurance services for export of goods in a third country,
  • Investments and services to serve and assist insured exporters,
  • Facilitation of access for SMEs,
  • Mutual exchange of good practices,
  • Organization of joint events and
  • Identification of specific solutions in the export insurance field.

This collaboration will support the export communities in both countries, as it aims to provide convenient access to a variety of export credits, as well as financing and investment insurance products.

The importance of this solid agreement in the UAE’s export industry was highlighted by the Minister of State for Foreign Trade and Deputy Chairman of the ECI Board of Directors, Dr. Thani bin Ahmad Al Zeyoudi.

Dr. Thani bin Ahamed Al-Zeyoudi
Dr. Thani bin Ahamed Al-Zeyoudi
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade

“The UAE and the UK have always had strong trade relations over the years, and this agreement reflects the keenness of both nations to enhance the competitive advantage of our respective business sector in the international market. We are pleased to enter this partnership with UKEF, with our strong confidence that this will further help ECI propel UAE businesses towards greater heights. This alliance will prove instrumental in advancing the UAE’s national economic non-oil diversification programmes, in line with the vision of our wise leaders.”

Graham Stuart, UK Minister for Exports said, “This partnership is a boost to our trading relationship and businesses in both countries. The UAE is diversifying its exports away from oil and gas into renewable energy and its goals to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels align with our own. As the world’s fifth-largest exporter, we are determined to help businesses across the UK access the finance they need to take advantage of new opportunities uncovered by UKEF across the world.”

Massimo Falcioni, CEO of ECI said, “This agreement is yet another testament to ECI’s commitment to constantly improve and forge alliances to help provide utmost support for businesses and exporters. Such kind of collaborations help UAE exporters secure their access to international markets, protect their cash flow and offer guarantees to their lenders fortifying further their presence in the global arena and thereby positioning the country as the global hub for trade and business.”

Louis Taylor, CEO of UKEF said, “We are delighted to partner with ECI, which has made great strides to protect businesses and enhance trade in such a short space of time. We believe that this partnership will strengthen trade ties between the UK and the UAE, and will be a game-changer for our respective exporters, especially SMEs, by making the vast and unique range of trade credit solutions offered by both ECAs more easily accessible.”

The UAE is the fourth largest export market outside the EU for the United Kingdom and is its key trading partner in the region making up 40 percent of GCC-UK trade.

Data from the UAE Ministry of Economy shows that in 2019, non-oil foreign trade between the UAE and the UK was estimated at $9 billion (AED36.6 billion), of which $571 million (AED2.1 billion) and $2 billion (AED7.7 billion) were non-oil exports and re-exports.