Saudi Arabia to set up Dh29bn export finance bank

Independent bank will provide finance to local exporters and global importers

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, is diversifying its economy away from oil and boosting the export and import sector as part of that push. Courtesy: Total
Powered by automated translation

Saudi Arabia will establish an independent export and import finance bank with capital of 30 billion riyals (Dh29bn), to provide financing to local exporters and foreign importers.

The kingdom proposed plans for the export-import (Exim) credit bank in December 2017, as a way of supporting international sales of its products.

State body Saudi Exports Development Authority (Seda) said this week it unveiled an initiative to set up the bank for “bridging the gaps in financial services” for import and export activities, and that the bank will be launched “soon”, according to a report by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

The announcement was reportedly made during a meeting between Seda secretary-general of Saleh Al Sulami, and some of the kingdom’s biggest exporters, at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday.

Delegates discussed key challenges facing export development in line with the kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic roadmap. Saudi Arabia is working to diversify its economy to reduce dependence on hydrocarbons, increase foreign investment and develop key export sectors such as mining, oil and gas and industrial products.

Business conditions in the Saudi non-oil private sector improved last month due to a rise in new orders, both international and domestic, according to Dubai lender Emirates NBD's latest report on the kingdom.

Work is now underway now on 32 projects as part of the Saudi National Exports Strategy, intended to help achieve Vision 2030 objectives, SPA said.

These include setting up the planned Exim bank, improving the efficiency of the export business environment, developing export capability for Saudi firms, promoting exporters’ activities and products and finding new opportunities for them.

Mr Al Sulami was quoted as saying that 2020 would be a “prosperous” year for Saudi exports.