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Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), the UAE government’s credit protection firm, and KazakhExport, an Export Insurance firm, have joined forces to elevate trade and bolster sustainable economic growth in both the UAE and Kazakhstan. They have set the groundwork for this partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
This strategic agreement aligns with the “We the UAE 2031” vision that intends to fortify economic relations between the two nations. It encourages the operations of exporters and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) towards sustainable growth opportunities in renewable energy, waste management, and halal product manufacturing. The UAE’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its global reputation as a trading and finance hub are evident, making it an enticing market for major international corporations.
The said MoU was confirmed by ECI’s CEO, Raja Al Mazrouei, and KazakhExport’s Chairman, Aslan Kaligazin, at the 13th Annual Aman Union General Meeting held in Dubai. They pledged to offer Sharia-compliant insurance, trade credit, and export solutions to protect UAE and Kazakh exporters from potential international commercial risks. This cooperation will also allow them to organize workshops to educate SMEs about the benefits of using trade protection solutions to lessen the risk of non-payment due to various commercial and geopolitical factors.
Raja Al Mazrouei conveyed the strategic importance of this alliance and stated that it reaffirms their commitment to enhance global competitiveness for businesses in both the UAE and Kazakhstan. This collaboration aligns with ECI’s mission to stimulate non-oil exports while offering comprehensive protection to SMEs, which supports the UAE’s economic diversification strategy. This agreement not only strengthens economic and trade relationships with Kazakhstan but also establishes a path for sustainable economic growth, reflecting their shared objectives.
The MoU also includes an agreement for ECI and KazakhExport to establish a task force to discover additional cooperation opportunities, with a focus on seven strategic areas, such as insurance, trade promotion, and SMEs support programs.
Notably, the UAE is Kazakhstan’s principal trading partner in the region. The total trade exchange between them reached around $632.6 million at the end of 2022, with exports from the UAE to Kazakhstan accounting for approximately USD 72.3 million.
In the context of increasing foreign direct investment and a $7 trillion development plan for the Kingdom’s giga projects, ICT spending in Saudi Arabia is projected to surpass $34.5 billion this year, according to the International Data Corporation’s latest prediction. This spending will primarily focus on software, including cloud, and IT services, projected to grow at compound annual growth rates of 11.4% and 8.7% over the 2022–2026 period, respectively.
The government sector will lead the country’s IT spending in 2023, allocating over $574 million for AI, IoT, cybersecurity, and big data analytics as these innovative technologies become essential for constructing an ‘Experience Economy’. Other top spenders in 2023 will include the finance, communications, energy and resources, and manufacturing sectors, with healthcare, finance, retail/wholesale, professional services, and education witnessing the fastest growth over the next five years.
According to Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC’s group vice president and regional managing director for the Middle East, Türkiye, and Africa, the development of regulatory environments and talent nurturing is crucial for success in harnessing the benefits of the digital economy.
These issues will be at the forefront during the upcoming IDC Saudi Arabia CIO Summit, scheduled for September 13-14 at the Fairmont Riyadh. This event, themed ‘Enabling the Digital Economy’s Leaders’, will host the Kingdom’s IT and telecom leaders, digital government pioneers, regulators, and industry thought leaders to evaluate the current state of the digital economy and its ongoing impacts.