H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE’s Minister of Finance and Chairman of Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI) Board of Directors, presided and started the 4th Board of Directors meeting by congratulating the Board members of ECI. He noted ECI’s successful establishment and substantial contribution in supporting the growth of UAE’s exports and foreign investments during the past 21 months of its start-up operations that were aligned with the country’s non-oil diversification strategy. At the meeting, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan also welcomed a new member to the Board and wished the rest of the members continued success in their endeavours.
The meeting was also attended by H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors at ECI, the UAE Federal Export Credit Company.
The members of the Board of Directors (BOD) who attended the meeting included H.E. Engr. Saed Al Awadi, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Export and Development Corporation; H.E. Marwan Ahmed Al Ali, Director General, Ajman Department of Finance; H.E. Dr. Abdulrahman Mohammed Ali Al Shayeb, Director General, Department of Economic Development - Ras Al Khaimah; H.E. Yousef Abdullah Al Awadi, Deputy Director, Finance Department - Fujairah; H.E. Saif Mohammad Al Shehhi; H.E. Abdullah Mohammad Al Yousuf; and Abeer Ali Alabdooli, Director of UAE Fiscal Policy Coordination Department, Ministry of Finance. Mr. Massimo Falcioni, Chief Executive Officer of ECI was also present at the BOD meeting.
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan stated that ECI has been fully implementing its underlying mandate, to support UAE businesses by enhancing their competitiveness in international markets, in line with the UAE Vision 2021. He further underlined that ECI’s broad range of trade credit solutions and activities developed in 2019, have been playing a pivotal role in educating UAE exporters and protecting the exports and investments of local businesses, thereby contributing to the growth of the non-oil trade and industry sectors, enabling their contribution to the country's diversified GDP.
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan also highlighted that ECI’s efforts have been recognised by the UAE Federal government, local governments, as well as other authorities and worldwide organisations in trade, commerce and banking sectors. He added: “ECI is on the right growth trajectory. The company has taken monumental strides by building unique partnerships and strategic relations’ eco-system with more than 30 various entities in the commercial and financial sectors worldwide in a record time. These alliances are valuable and crucial, especially in the light of the changing global economic conditions, since these institutions have the essential infrastructure and tools to secure higher export volume of the country.”
Meanwhile, H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, stated, “The UAE continues to be a beacon of inspiration by attaining several milestones in the field of trade, business and investments at the global level. Today, the nation has advanced forward, joining the ranks of global exporting countries. ECI’s comprehensive range of financial and insurance solutions to companies operating in the UAE has played a vital role in emboldening them to access high potential markets across different regions of the world.”
H.E. Eng. Sultan also applauded ECI for receiving a very strong Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) Rating and an Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of AA- (Very Strong) with Stable Outlook from Fitch Ratings. He stated that this milestone cemented ECI’s robust financial position and its capability to secure the UAE’s exporters and investors in the global marketplace. He also credited ECI’s success to its crucial and strategic partnerships with Federal and local government agencies, insurance and reinsurance companies, international Export Credit Agencies (ECAs), major banks and financial institutions, as well as eminent global companies. He said these collaborations offer the requisite tools and solutions to combat the commercial and political risks of international marketplaces.
At the meeting H.E. Eng. Sultan also brought to the forefront the role of the SMEs in contributing to the country’s overall growth and development. He said: “SMEs, especially those in the field of export and re-export in the UAE, play a substantial role in the growth of the country's GDP. ECI has launched a tailor-made financial solution to small and medium-sized UAE-based companies called ‘SME-Protect’ that helps protect these companies by facilitating their access to finance, supporting their growth plans globally, and helping them to enter emerging markets.”
H.E. Eng. Sultan also spotlighted ECI’s contribution to the country’s Emiratisation drive. He said, “In line with the Emiratisation strategy of the UAE government, the Human Capital Department at ECI launched the National Accelerator Program (NAP), which targets new graduates of the UAE nationals to prepare them to work in the field of export credit management, occupying various executive and administrative positions and contributing to achieving the company’s aspirations and goals.”
During the meeting, the Board of Directors also discussed the points included in the set agenda, examined the audited financial statements of 2019 and the provisional 2019, commented on a detailed presentation on the company’s business activity review and the figures related to the export guarantees provided to non-oil exporters in the first 10 months of 2019, as well as approved ECI’s five years strategic roadmap for the years 2019-2023.