The UAE’s export credit agency, Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), has partnered with several banks and public authorities on an initiative aimed at boosting exports and diversifying the country’s economy. 

The initiative, called Xport Xponential, connects local exporters to providers of credit facilities and insurance cover via the agency’s platform, and provides access to a database of over 300 million companies in partner countries. 

Bank participants include Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Ajman Bank, Dubai Commercial Bank, Emirates Development Bank, Fujairah National Bank and Ras Al Khaimah Bank, along with several federal and local government bodies. ECI says it expects more institutions to sign up as the project progresses. 

“This initiative introduces an innovative trade and insurance platform, creating new opportunities for UAE-based exporters to increase their exports,” says Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, the UAE’s Minister of Economy and chairman of ECI’s board of directors. 

“It aims to support the targets of the ‘We the UAE 2031’ vision by reaching AED800bn (US$218bn) in non-oil UAE exports by the next decade, thereby enhancing the growth and sustainability of the UAE economy.” 

Bin Touq adds that the initiative has a particular focus on SMEs. Eligible companies should have an annual turnover of AED10mn to AED250mn, and must have recently started exporting from the UAE or have plans to do so. 

Xport Xponential is the latest in a series of ECI initiatives aimed at supporting smaller non-oil exporters. In late 2021, the agency launched a digital platform called Trade Finance Gateway to help companies obtain trade and export finance facilities from commercial lenders, starting from Q1 2022. 

It has also partnered with DP World’s financing arm to support the provision of trade finance to SMEs, facilitating trade totalling more than AED1bn (US$272mn) in little over a year since launch. 

Bin Touq says the latest initiative goes beyond financing and insurance cover by also providing exporters with access to expert consultancy and strategic insights. 

Raja Al Mazrouei, ECI’s chief executive, adds that it links participants to the UAE’s network of strategic partners around the world. 

“This step will enhance the export capacities of UAE-based enterprises and advance the visibility of non-oil UAE products in targeted markets,” she says.