Etihad Credit Insurance and Terminus Group team up to boost UAE's digital infrastructure

Terminus is also exploring the possibility of opening a manufacturing and innovation plant in the Emirates

Massimo Falcioni, chief executive of ECI (seated right) and Lance Wang, vice president of Terminus Group, at the signing ceremony. Photo: ECI
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Etihad Credit Insurance, the UAE’s federal export credit agency, and artificial intelligence services provider Terminus Group have signed a preliminary agreement to boost the China-based company’s digital infrastructure projects in the Emirates.

The agreement calls for researching the requirements needed and creating credit insurance solutions for these projects in the UAE and wider Middle East and North Africa region, ECI said in a statement on Tuesday.

Terminus, a unit of state-owned China Everbright Group, is also exploring the possibility of bringing its manufacturing capabilities to the UAE by setting up a manufacturing and innovation centre. China Everbright will also be able to access ECI's coverage as part of the deal.

“ECI supports projects that expedite digital transformation ... to ease trade and project financing procedures. By teaming up with Terminus Group, we are helping accelerate the UAE’s non-oil trade through state-of-the-art digital solutions,” said Massimo Falcioni, chief executive of ECI.

Demand for emerging technology such as AI, the cloud, Internet of Things and big data across key industries is significantly driving the growth of the digital transformation market, and the UAE is leveraging such technology to further strengthen its economy.

Last week, the UAE Cabinet approved a strategy to double the contribution of the digital economy to the UAE's gross domestic product from 9.7 per cent to 19.4 per cent within 10 years.

It also approved the formation of a digital economy council headed by Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications.

The plan includes more than 30 projects and programmes and five new areas of growth.

The UAE also said last week that it will streamline operations for businesses by providing digital services, simplifying procedures and reducing costs for investors and owners of industrial businesses, as part of a new partnership signed between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation and the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology.

"The significance of digital infrastructure to emerging economies cannot be overemphasised and the future is going to bring many new opportunities that we cannot perhaps yet imagine because such is the progress technology achieves through AI, machine learning and other technological developments," a Terminus representative said.

The global smart infrastructure market is projected to grow to about $434 billion by 2028 at a compound annual rate of 23.8 per cent from more than $97.2bn in 2021, Fortune Business Insights has predicted.

The overall digital transformation market, meanwhile, was pegged at more than $484bn last year, data from Precedence Research shows.

As part of the agreement, ECI will safeguard Terminus' receivables and mitigate potential risks while trading in the UAE market or entering new business settings, the statement said.

It also aims to provide solutions, including buyer credit/project finance insurance and foreign investment insurance to guarantee the development of the manufacturing site being explored by Terminus.

ECI was established in 2018 by the UAE federal government and it plays a crucial role in supporting the country's non-oil exports, trade, investments and development of strategic sectors.

The support extended by ECI to non-oil trade sector exporters jumped 128 per cent last year to Dh11.4bn, it said this month.

Terminus Group, which is based in Beijing, was named a premier partner of Expo 2020 Dubai and entered into a long-term lease agreement at District 2020. It had also joined forces with the platform Talabat to use robots to deliver food to customers at the world's fair as it promoted sustainable last-mile deliveries.

Updated: April 19, 2022, 1:57 PM