UAE and Africa credit agencies sign deal to bolster trade ties

The entities will provide trade finance solutions to exporters operating in the Emirates and Africa

General view of a stock yard of DP World's fully automated Terminal 2 at Jebel Ali Port in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 27, 2018. Picture taken December 27, 2018. REUTERS/ Hamad I Mohammed
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The UAE and Africa’s export credit agencies signed an agreement to support trade ties and boost exports between the two markets.

As part of the deal, Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI) and African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) will provide trade finance solutions to exporters operating in the UAE and Africa, ECI said in a statement on Wednesday.

The two entities will also co-operate in boosting their respective insurance and financing capabilities to support businesses.

“This collaboration will give our exporters the confidence to access the African region’s diverse markets and resources with state-backed assurances and safeguards against commercial and political uncertainties,” Massimo Falcioni, chief executive of ECI, said.

The trade ties between the UAE and African countries have been growing over the past few years. The value of non-oil trade between the Emirates and Africa grew 10 per cent to reach $40.7 billion in the first nine months of 2020, ECI said, citing recent data published by state news agency Wam.

Exporters in various sectors, including metals, vehicles, steel and aluminium, agriculture, transport and renewable energy, among others, are expected to benefit from the partnership between ECI and ATI.

The agreement “comes at an opportune moment as ATI has ... mandate that supports trade and private sector growth in the region, particularly in the wake of the coronavirus that has affected global economies,” Manuel Moses, chief executive of ATI, said.

Last year, the ECI signed a similar agreement with Israel's export credit agency Ashr'a and India's Export Credit Guarantee Corporation.

Established in 2018, ECI provides export guarantees and trade insurance to mitigate the political and commercial risks of international trade on behalf of the UAE government.

The ECI extended Dh420 million ($114.3m) worth of trade credit support to small and medium enterprises in the first 11 months of 2020 to help companies maintain liquidity amid the coronavirus-induced economic slowdown.

Nairobi-based ATI provides insurance to companies, investors, and lenders interested in doing business in Africa.