ICIEC signed wide-ranging MoU with Export Bahrain
The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), the insurance arm of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, signed a wide-ranging Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Export Bahrain, whereby ICIEC would provide export credit insurance services in support of small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
The MoU was signed virtually in a video link by Mr. Oussama Kaissi, Chief Executive Officer of ICIEC, and Mrs Safaa Abdulkhaliq, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Export Bahrain, the national agency whose mandate is to support the development of exports of local SMEs to engage in global markets. This would be done through the provision of export credit insurance from ICIEC’s range of de-risking solutions to cover various commercial and non-commercial risks, including buyer bankruptcies, currency and political risks.
Export Bahrain is the flagship initiative of the Kingdom’s National SME Development Board. Earlier this year it reached a new milestone by facilitating over US$100m in export value through SMEs as of June 2021. Export Bahrain has strategically helped SMEs based in Bahrain to export more than 51 different product and service categories across ten sectors to over 55 markets across the GCC, Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, UK, and the US.
Under the MoU, the two parties also agreed that ICIEC would use its expertise and knowledge of local and global markets especially those in member countries with the aim of giving institutional support to Export Bahrain and developing and enhancing the export capabilities of Bahraini SMEs to these markets.
ICIEC and Export Bahrain will also enhance their working relationship by exchanging economic and trade information and statistics on a regular basis. ICIEC in addition will also organize technical training courses relating to the export credit and investment insurance ecosystem for Bahraini officials, exporters and allied services.
All the above services and provisions provided by ICIEC will be channelled and processed through Export Bahrain. To facilitate a smooth operational and coordination process, ICIEC and Export Bahrain will establish a Specialist Working Group at each entity which would need on an ad hoc basis and when necessary.
Mr Oussama Kaissi, CEO of ICIEC, welcomed the signing of this landmark MoU. “Despite the onset of COVID-19,” he added, “many ICIEC member countries have shown remarkable resilience, especially in trade and exports. In the case of Bahrain, for instance, the export value facilitated through Export Bahrain in the First Half of 2021 had already surpassed the total export value of 2020 due to the increased awareness and shift in the mindset of local businesses. ICIEC stands ready to enhance its support to Bahrain by mitigating political and commercial risks for trade and investment through the provision of its Shariah-compliant insurance solutions for banks, corporates, ECAs, and other stakeholders.”
Mrs Safaa Abdul-Khaliq, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Export Bahrain similarly commented: “Export Bahrain’s efforts are geared towards establishing exclusive partnerships to ease and find solutions to the different challenges that Bahrain-based businesses may encounter during their export journey. We encourage businesses from all the various sectors to take advantage of this agreement as we are confident that this strategic partnership would allow more exporters to explore new markets and buyers with confidence, particularly now with more alternatives being offered in the Export Credit Insurance solution to Export Bahrain customers.”