UAE, Egypt to bolster bilateral exports

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The UAE and Egypt have agreed to strengthen non-oil trade relations and boost bilateral exports through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), the UAE Federal Export Credit company and the Export Credit Guarantee Company of Egypt (ECGE).

The ECI-ECGE agreement, signed by Massimo Falcioni, CEO of ECI and Mohamed Azzam, Managing Director of ECGE in the presence of senior officials from both institutions, is expected to further cement the strong non-oil trade relationship.

ECI was established by UAE Federal Government and its founders include the governments of Abu Dhabi, , Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Ajman.

The two-way non-oil trade in 2018 amounted to Dh20.1 billion, a 14.6 per cent growth from Dh17.6 billion in 2017, according to data released by the UAE Ministry of Economy.

In 2018, UAE's total non-oil foreign trade, including direct and free zone trade, and customs warehouses, reached Dh1.628 trillion, according to the Federal Customs Authority, FCA. Non-oil trade with Arab states has seen significant developments, with an average increase of 21 per cent compared to 19 per cent from the previous year. Trade exchange with Arab countries increased to Dh341.2 billion, and the value of imports and exports amounted to Dh77.3 billion and Dh93.8 billion respectively. Re-exports totalled Dh170.1 billion between the UAE and Arab states.

The UAE ranks first globally in terms of investments in Egypt with total FDI amounting to Dh24.3 billion reflecting the activity of 990 Emirati companies that invested in Egypt at the end of 2018. Egypt, on the other hand, ranks 28th globally in terms of investing in the UAE with total FDI valued at Dh3.3 billion during the same period.

"Taking into account the very strong non-oil trade relations between the UAE and Egypt, this agreement will pave the way for the identification and development of more business opportunities. ECI's partnership with ECGC will not only reinforce the existing partnership between the two countries but will also boost the regional and global competitiveness of local businesses," said Falcioni.

Azzam said Egypt is the UAE's sixth-leading trading partner in the region while the UAE is Egypt's second-leading trading partner. "These are indicators of the strong and deep relationship shared between the UAE and Egypt. For ECGE, the MoU offers optimistic prospects for SMEs and businesses looking to enter high-growth markets through a broad suite of trade credit solutions."

The alliance was formed during the UAE-Egypt Business Forum, organised by the UAE Ministry of Economy, in partnership with UAE International Investors Council and UAE-Egypt Business Council. The forum, which featured Falcioni as a keynote speaker, aims to provide businesses based in both countries with requisite market knowledge and business networks.

ECI and ECGE alliance will create a collaborative task force to explore trade, collaborate on technical and economic matters through dedicated work streams that include: insurance, reinsurance, collections cooperation; exchange of commercial information and credit opinion; technical training programs; halal industry & Shariah-compliant insurance and finance solutions; trade promotional activities such as events and workshops; facilitating access of SMEs by identifying specific solutions on both the export and investment fields; sharing expertise and best practices on a reciprocal basis in commercial underwriting, risk management, country assessment, claims and recovery, among others.

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Issac John

Editorial Director of Al Khaleej Today, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Al Khaleej Today. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.

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