Saudi's EXIM Bank to Be Launched Within Months

Published August 29th, 2019 - 07:49 GMT
Saudi exports increased 40 percent in 2018 compared to 2017.
Saudi exports increased 40 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. (Shutterstock)
Highlights
Saudi companies export their products to 200 countries, with non-oil exports reaching over $8 billion in some markets. 

Saudi EXIM Bank will start operating at the end of this year or during Q1 of 2020, as the bank awaits approval of its system and bylaws, announced Secretary-General of the Saudi Export Development Authority (SEDA) Saleh al-Solami.

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Solami stressed that the Bank will not compete with commercial banks, as it will complete the financing system in high-risk foreign markets, or in markets that are not funded by some commercial banks.

He pointed out that export banks usually fund foreign projects with local content in order to increase national exports.

Solami was speaking on the sidelines of “Saudi-Iraqi Trade Mission” organized by the Saudi Exports in Dammam on Tuesday, with the participation of 35 Saudi companies and four Iraqi companies.

SEDA launched an initiative to spur the private sector to finance exporters, with a budget of $1.33 billion, adding that financing for exporting companies has reached $800 million so far, expecting support for Saudi exports to reach $1.33 billion over the next two months.

Saudi exports increased 40 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, while the growth rate reached 13 percent in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period of 2018, despite the challenges facing international markets including weak demand in some markets.

The Sec-Gen pointed that the Authority had devised a program to visit SMEs for assessment and development through consultations, training workshops, and organizing trade missions to contact foreign companies abroad.

The Authority has over 2,300 registered Saudi companies and has launched a program to communicate with 1500 new ones through field visits. SEDA wants to prepare them to be included in its programs and get them ready to export their products, according to Solami.

Saudi companies export their products to 200 countries, with non-oil exports reaching over $8 billion in some markets. 

Solami said the Iraqi market is one of the five target markets for Saudi non-oil products.

Saudi exports to Iraq amounted to $640 million in 2018, as Solami expects exports to Iraq to exceed $660 million by the end of 2019, noting that the Authority aims at an annual growth rate of 15 percent.

The Sec-Gen discussed the Authority’s role in opening markets to the cement factories, explaining that exports started in 2018 with no more than 160,000 tons, and rose to 4 million tons during the first half of 2019, expecting it to reach 8 million tons by the end of the year.


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