Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI) signed an agreement with France’s export credit agency Bpifrance Assurance Export to strengthen trade and economic cooperation between the UAE and France.
As part of the deal, the two entities will explore opportunities to offer insurance, reinsurance and co-insurance services for the export of goods to a third country. They will also look at boosting investments and services to support insured exporters and organise joint events to support exporters.
“The UAE and France have always shared distinguished trade relations, and over the past several years, these bilateral ties have witnessed a major leap. The strategic dialogue between the two countries started in 2007 – an annual dialogue that ensures to strengthen the bilateral relations aimed at achieving their shared goals,” Massimo Falcioni, chief executive of ECI, said.
The new agreement between the ECI and Bpifrance will “pave the way for a mutual exchange of export credit solutions and financing that will benefit the local business and export community”, he said.
The UAE is France's second-largest trade partner in the GCC region with non-oil foreign trade reaching $7.6 billion (Dh28bn) in 2018, according to data from the UAE's Ministry of Economy. There are 600 French companies operating in the UAE in different sectors.
ECI, set up in 2018, provides guarantees and insurance solutions to mitigate the political and commercial risks of exporting by offering financing or refinancing for export transactions on behalf of the UAE government.
“We believe this agreement, while actively boosting the bilateral trade relations, will also enhance support for the exporting community as it will give small businesses access to ECI’s unique range of trade credit solutions and services,” François Lefebvre, general manager of Bpifrance Assurance Export, said.
The partnership comes amid the UAE’s strategy to develop a more diversified economy and boost trade activity.
Earlier this year, Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi’s strategic investment arm, said it will invest €1bn (Dh3.98bn) in the French government's investment fund that will be managed by the country’s national investment bank, Bpifrance.
The LAC I fund aims to raise €10bn that will be earmarked for investments in about 15 listed companies taken from a large pool of France’s leading corporations over the next decade.