Engineer Saed Al Awadi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Exports
The Dubai Exports Academy, part of Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of the Department of Economic Development - Government of Dubai, organised a seminar on ‘Financial strategy for SME exporters’ as a part of its programme of initiatives to enable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE to begin and become proficient in exporting. An important aspect of exporting is efficient cash flow and management and export which were the topics covered in this seminar.
The seminar, organised jointly with Salvus Strategic Advisors, was part of the knowledge-sharing initiatives of Dubai Exports Academy and Dubai Exports’ mission to enhance the export capabilities of local companies of all sizes. Speakers at the seminar included the region’s leading insurers, export credit agencies and corporate advisories.
SME exporters attending the seminar were able to learn about the best approach to source finance, manage cash flows and secure credit through competitive insurance options ranging from plain bank financing to specialised export credit insurance and factoring.
“The Dubai Export Academy is an important initiative by Dubai Exports that seeks to enhance the knowledge and ability of firms in the country so as to make them competitive in global markets. The SME sector in the UAE has tremendous potential and capabilities, which can be successfully deployed in foreign markets with the right kind of knowledge and support,” said Engineer Saed Al Awadi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Exports.
“Exporters have several unique features which are appealing to banks and other lenders. They must therefore learn to capitalise on their strengths and explore alternative means of financing themselves. With an increasing number of UAE based firms exploring the African markets as well, export financing and the understanding of its risks are critical,” Vishnu Deuskar, Director of Salvus Capital told the seminar.
The importance of credit insurance as a vital lifeline for SME exporters competing with larger size companies for market share was also underscored by speakers at the seminar.
“Credit Insurance is a powerful tool for SME exporters to significantly expand markets. Gaining a sound understanding of the working of Credit Insurance will result in creating competitive advantage and also help to mitigate the risk of bad debts. It can also be used by SME exporters to lower the cost borrowing,” commented Thomas Alexander, Director–Non Marine & Hull of Nasco ME Insurance Brokers.
Highlighting the strength and diversity of the SME sector in Dubai and its contribution to trade and the annual value-add in the emirate, Bassam Azab, Head of Business Development-GCC, Menafactors Limited, told the seminar that the working capital needs of this vital sector should a be a top priority.
“Menafactors has a strategic objective of supporting the finance needs of SME traders by providing financial solutions for their short-term working capital needs. We structure our products and services around customer needs and we nurture our clients as their business grows. We are thankful to Dubai Exports Academy for organizing this seminar, which will help advance SME understanding of finance and the financing solutions available,” Azab said.
The Dubai Export Academy was launched with the aim to enhance the exporting skills of UAE firms to ensure that they become successful in expanding into foreign markets. As the only Centre of Excellence dedicated purely to export related knowledge, it seeks to provide a unique combination of practical on the ground information of foreign markets with generic export related management knowledge.