Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), the UAE’s Federal export credit company, has partnered with the Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA), and the Sharjah Airport International Free Zone Authority (SAIF Zone), to help Sharjah exporters and re-exporters to start and grow their international business and secure their receivables globally.
The strategic initiative will boost the exports from Sharjah, one of the key manufacturing and industrial hubs in the region, and a major contributor to UAE’s non-oil GDP and national employment.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by HE Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, Director of Hamriyah Free Zone Authority and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone Authority and Massimo Falconi, CEO of Etihad Credit Insurance, in the presence of senior officials of both entities.
Underscoring the importance of this strategic agreement, Al Mazrouei said: “Our agreement with UAE Federal export credit company is a major effort in unlocking new avenues of financing for companies seeking to open operations in Sharjah. This deal will strengthen the existing initiatives in the free zones to enhance SMEs’ contribution to the local economy with ECI’s insurance and project finance facilities as well as the market intelligence and advisory services. It signifies our collective vision to nurture an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Sharjah, thereby contributing to the sustainable economic growth of the UAE.”
Meanwhile, Falcioni said: “In line with our strategy to accelerate the UAE’s economic diversification and non-oil trade agenda, ECI is helping to enhance the bankability of SMEs, startups and innovative projects launched by younger entrepreneurs across the country. We are honoured to team up with one of the biggest industrial free zones in the UAE to empower local businesses and exporters through the state-backed financial and insurance support.”
“We are confident that ECI’s trade and project financing support to UAE businesses will reinforce HFZA and SAIF Zone’s visions to solidify Sharjah’s position as a destination for global investments and a business centre in the Middle East while sustaining UAE’s position as an export powerhouse event amid the severe disruptions in the current economic cycle” he added.
As per the agreement, Etihad Credit Insurance will offer its range of flexible trade credit insurance and financial solutions-- including its Sharia-compliant insurance product ‘ECI Islamic’--to startups and small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in the two free zones. The MoU reflects the shared commitment of the state-owned organisations to developing a supportive environment for business and accelerating the UAE’s economic diversification agenda by championing pioneering projects and emerging industries.
Through this collaboration, they will jointly conduct seminars and workshops to educate the UAE business community about the benefits of trade protection solutions of Etihad Credit Insurance. By providing country risk reports and in-depth market intelligent services, ECI will also help the companies in the free zones to successfully carry out export to foreign countries as well as identify and flourish in new growth markets around the world confidently.
Over the last few decades, HFZA and SAIF Zone have emerged as a strong pillar in Sharjah’s economic performance. From attracting foreign investment to creating employment and implementing the latest technologies, HFZA and SAIF Zone have laid the ground for a future where business transcends geographical borders and economic divisions.