Etihad Credit Insurance, the UAE’s federal export credit agency, signed a preliminary agreement with Greece’s Export Credit Insurance Organisation to boost bilateral trade and economic co-operation.
The agencies aim to support local businesses operating in the agriculture, construction, steel and aluminium, ceramics, renewable energy, mechanical and waste management sectors with trade finance tools to help them grow internationally.
The partnership will also boost the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-caps as well as enhance halal trade through the promotion and utilisation of Sharia-compliant finance solutions, ECI said in a statement on Monday.
“This agreement will help businesses from both countries to expand on a global scale, backed by a wide range of credit insurance solutions, market intelligence and ease of access to international trade," said Massimo Falcioni, chief executive of ECI.
"It will also protect SMEs and large enterprises from both commercial and non-commercial risks they come across in their business journey."
The pact is a follow-up to recent high-level diplomatic meetings between the UAE and Greece. These reviewed the prospects of strengthening strategic ties between the two nations and deliberated a number of regional and international issues.
Meetings in Washington were attended by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, and Nikos Dendias, Greece's Foreign Minister. In Athens Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and managing director and group chief executive of Adnoc, and Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greece's Prime Minister.
The new alliance will also explore mutual opportunities in insurance, reinsurance and co-insurance, as well as exchange expertise and best practices in commercial underwriting, risk management, country assessment, claims and recovery.
“Building on the long-term bilateral relationship between Greece and the UAE, this partnership will play a pivotal role in enhancing the economic stability and trade strength of both countries," said Gregory Stamatopoulos, director general of the ECIO.
"It is our objective to cover the needs of all export businesses by providing credit insurance services with simultaneous financing, while using simple procedures."
In 2020, the UAE and Greece established a strategic partnership based on a relationship that dates back to 1976, when the countries set up a joint committee for economic, cultural and technical co-operation.
Today, the partnership between the two nations encompasses a broad spectrum of co-operation in diverse fields, comprising economics, politics, defence, culture, governance and food security.
Last year, non-oil foreign trade between the UAE and Greece stood at Dh1.2 billion ($326 million), up 41 per cent from 2019, data from the Ministry of Economy shows. The increasing number of tourists travelling between the two countries is supported by a strong aviation sector.