UAE hosts global conference on export and investment innovation

Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Deputy Chairman of ECI’s Board of Directors giving the opening speech
Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Deputy Chairman of ECI’s Board of Directors giving the opening speech

The event gathered delegates from Berne Union’s Prague Club Committee member countries in Dubai


A Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 10 Feb 2022, 4:14 PM

The UAE’s federal export credit company, Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), hosted the Prague Club Committee (PCC) Biennial Meeting of the Berne Union, an international organisation of leading export credit and political risk insurers, in Dubai for the first time.

The global event gathered delegates from PCC member countries to discuss export-oriented innovation and growth strategies as well as the pivotal role of export credit agencies in trade facilitation and promotion.

Deemed as one of the most influential conferences related to trade credit insurance, the meeting facilitated a platform for the Berne Union members to strengthen ties and drive dialogue on critical issues impacting trade and investment, following global supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic.

Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade and Deputy Chairman of ECI’s Board of Directors, said: “In a complex interconnected world, businesses continue to face hurdles and disruptions necessitating better cooperation between countries and their export credit agencies. Berne Union’s Prague Club Committee Meeting is instrumental in setting the future agenda in ensuring the growth of export innovation. The UAE is therefore delighted to host this major event, which will pave the way to a new era of international trading and economic prosperity.”

Michal Ron, president of the Berne Union, said: "The close association between export credit agencies has become absolutely crucial in the current economic cycle, which has been seriously impacted by an unforeseen event in the world history. Working together is key to navigating these unprecedented challenges in global trade. We're pleased to team up with one of our youngest members, ECI, to host the PCC biennial meeting in the UAE, which will be a significant step in empowering the trade credit insurance community across the globe."

Massimo Falcioni, CEO of ECI, said: “Organising the Prague Club Committee meeting is a major accomplishment in line with our mission to strengthen the UAE’s non-oil trade and national economic diversification. With the active participation and dynamic discussion among the important stakeholders in this ecosystem, this gathering will certainly have a far-reaching impact on the export insurance industry and the global economic recovery."

He added: "It also took place at a time when the need to make a rapid transition towards clean energy is becoming highly critical. The UAE has always been a forerunner on this front and winning the bid to host the COP28 climate conference in 2023 is a fitting tribute to its leadership role for a sustainable future. We’ve been reinforcing the UAE’s ‘Net Zero by 2050’ strategy by partnering with government entities and other ECAs. We believe the collaboration between the credit insurance companies across the globe can make a profound influence in this much-needed transition.”

The Prague Club was established in 1993 by the Berne Union with funding from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Named after the city where its first meeting was held, the group carried on the tradition begun by the Berne Union, supporting members in developing their export credit and investment insurance schemes and hosting regular technical discussions, as well as facilitating information exchanges among the member countries.

ECI was admitted as a full member of the Berne Union last year, following an administrative process that began two years ago. Being a full-fledged member of the Berne Union would guarantee the Federal agency the voting right to be nominated and elected for Berne Union and Prague Club management committees — elected and rotating positions.

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