UAE seeks to boost non-oil exports to Dh800b by 2031: Al Marri

Etihad Credit Insurance contributes to advancing national vision


Issac John

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Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri
Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri

Published: Wed 22 May 2024, 5:37 PM

Last updated: Wed 22 May 2024, 5:38 PM

The UAE targets to increase its non-oil exports to Dh800 billion and boost the value of non-oil foreign trade to Dh4.0 trillion by the next decade, Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, said on Wednesday.

The UAE has achieved outstanding successes on regional and international levels, solidifying its standing as the region's leading hub for trade and investment. “With an emphasis on emerging industries and SMEs, we will continue to broaden and diversify our economy according to the ‘We the UAE 2031’ vision,” said Al Marri.

The minister, also chairman of Etihad Credit Insurance Board of Directors, said ECI has significantly contributed to advancing this national vision by fostering the expansion of domestic trade and enterprises and facilitating crucial economic relations through comprehensive economic partnership agreements (Cepas). “The company’s innovative credit solutions and strategic collaborations have enhanced the competitiveness of UAE businesses worldwide. This will help diversify the UAE’s economic landscape and propel its non-oil exports forward.”

ECI, the federal export credit company of the UAE, recorded a gross exposure of Dh9.6 billion by the end of 2023, a 21-fold jump compared to 2019, according to Raja Al Mazrouei, chief executive officer of ECI.

The minister noted that ECI’s recent commitments to clean and green energy initiatives further signify its role as a driving force towards sustainability. “ECI's support has been financial as well as strategic, contributing to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through support for non-oil trade, while also ensuring compliance with international standards,” Al Marri said.

In its annual report, ECI highlighted its role in fostering the expansion of the UAE’s non-oil exports, covering 3.1 per cent out of Dh 441 billion in 2023, compared to 1.9 per cent in the previous year. This growth was supported by a diverse portfolio, with over two-thirds of beneficiaries comprising small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), while large corporations represented another 20.9 per cent. This underscores ECI’s significant contribution to the UAE’s progress towards its 2031 foreign trade targets.

Al Mazrouei said ECI is committed to providing innovative credit solutions, facilitating easy access to finance, offering expert market insights, and nurturing strategic collaborations in line with its vision and mission to foster sustainable and secure non-oil trade for the UAE’s economy.

“We empower UAE businesses to confidently participate in global trade, driving towards a robust and well diversified economy. Leveraging our innovative approach and meticulously crafted 2023 business plans, ECI has emerged as a beacon of stability for UAE enterprises. We have seen a significant increase in the demand for our services, with a remarkable surge in insured trade and investment transactions. Our dedication to protecting the interests of UAE exporters is evident in the numbers, with a 25 per cent increase in policies issued compared to 2022,” said Al Mazrouei.

“As we continue to adapt and grow, expanding ECI’s services to strengthen national exports is our primary objective, marking a significant leap forward in our capabilities and outreach. This new strategic phase aims to double the growth rate of UAE exports through ECI and increase our contribution to the non-oil GDP by 7-fold by 2031,” Al Mazrouei said.

The report stated that ECI’s global outreach efforts supportedUAE exporters across 17 sectors in 110 countries, amounting to a non-oil trade and investment of Dh14 billion in 2023. This success was facilitated by approximately 21 agreements signed with government export credit agencies worldwide, solidifying ECI’s position as a trusted partner for international trade.

ECI has given a credit cover of Dh 4.7 billion to UAE’s industrial sector, a key contributor to non-oil exports, with Dh1.4 billion committed in 2023 alone, enabling manufacturers’ exports achievement and in line with the company’s partnership with the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT).

ECI’s projects seek to support economic development and improve the quality of living, including a credit insurance commitment of $500 million to boost Africa’s clean energy transition as part of the UAE’s $4.5 billion Africa Green Investment initiative. The company supported clients with management of late payments worth Dh415 million, of which Dh 353 million or 83 per cent were successfully recovered, the annual report added.

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