UAE to support businesses with export credit insurance and funding

Etihad Credit Insurance rolls out new measures to offset the impact of coronavirus

A picture taken on April 4, 2017, shows Dubai's skyline dominating the water canal, which links the city's business hub to the Gulf. (Photo by KARIM SAHIB / AFP)
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The UAE rolled out new measures to support exporters affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), a federal entity, will assist exporters and businesses facing payment and supply chain disruptions with export credit insurance and additional funding, the agency said on Sunday.

“For exporters and businesses that are concerned about getting paid, ECI offers an export credit insurance solution that can help them recover the cost of fulfilling an order that is terminated by events outside their control, such as the adverse impacts of Covid-19,” said Massimo Falcioni, its chief executive.

The coronavirus pandemic, the biggest challenge to the global economy since the 2008 financial crisis, has disrupted trade, the travel industry and rattled investors. About $17 trillion (Dh62.4tn) has been wiped from stock markets worldwide. Global equity markets are now valued at $72.16tn, from a high of $89tn earlier this year, according to Bloomberg data.

The UAE has taken a number of measures to cushion the impact on local businesses, including stimulus measures to the tune of Dh256 billion from the central bank.

Earlier today, the UAE’s Ministry of Economy also reduced fees for 94 of its services, resulting in Dh113 million worth of savings for businesses in 2020. Fees have been reduced on a range of services linked to innovation, business, investment, production, trade as well as import and export activities.

“Reducing fees for services provided by the Ministry of Economy to individuals and companies will reduce the cost of establishing and conducting business in the country and will reduce the burden on commercial and investment institutions, which is to support the main and affected sectors stimulating the economic environment and ensuring the sustainability of the pioneering structure of the national economy and business continuity,” said Sultan Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy.

Among the most prominent fees being cut are for commercial registration, trademark and intellectual property services, as well as fees linked to commercial agencies and auditors.

ECI is also offering financial support to domestic companies through bank loans, it said.

“ECI has built a large ecosystem of strategic partners including local and international banks, including FAB, ADCB, Emirates NBD, RAK Bank, National Bank of Fujairah, HSBC, Standard Chartered and Natixis, which might offer loans at a concessional rate, guaranteed by ECI to secure the funding of the supply chain,” added Mr Falcioni.

The organisation is also offering exporters advice on finding alternative suppliers if supply chains are disrupted due to coronavirus restrictions.

“The UAE’s federal export company has a global network of more than 360 million businesses worldwide and can assist in advising on available options and connect UAE exporters to alternative suppliers to sustain their trade operations in the international markets,” it said.