The Department of Economic Development (DED) today held a workshop entitled Financing Exports at the headquarters of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI) in the presence of 22 delegates representing 13 national foreign banks, and private financing entities. In his inaugural address to the workshop, Dr. Adeeb Al Afifi, Director of Exports Support Foreign Trade, DED’s International Economic Relations Sector, stated that according to the data released by the Statistics Center, Abu Dhabi (SCAD), the non-oil exports' contribution to the Gross Domestic Product in Abu Dhabi increased from 1.1% to 1.7% in 2007 through 2009. He pointed out that Abu Dhabi's economic vision for the year 2030 aims to achieve a rate of 11%.
He added that according to the trade statistics released by the Abu Dhabi Customs Office, Abu Dhabi's exports of commodities increased by 85% in 2008 through 2010. During the same period, re-exportation rate increased by 76%, whilst imports decreased by 4%. Al-Afifi indicated that the export re-export rate increased remarkably from 22% to 26% respectively in 2010 compared to the same period in 2009 during which export re-export rates increased by 52% and 39% respectively.
He stated that numerous factors may affect such statistics, such as production capacity, local demand and the anticipated quality of items services in Abu Dhabi as well as exchange rates. However, he emphasized that only one factor may positively affect the development of local exports, like companies acquiring the financing necessary for their exports.
Dr. Adib al-Afifi stressed that despite the high quality and the international standard products of the companies in the UAE, these companies still work within the local market framework due to the lack of sufficient financing mechanisms.
He added that financing exports allows these companies, especially the small and medium ones, to curb the risk of failure to pay on time. Financing exports also allows these companies to geographically extend to new markets in a manner that increases their products as well as the scope of their creativity invention. Al-Afifi indicated that the DED's Exports Support Foreign Trade Sector, managed in the past two years to hold several workshops during which it listened to demands put forward by the companies factories operating in Abu Dhabi, where the issue of acquiring financing was always their major concern. He said that there are objectives that must be fulfilled in the Exports Financing Workshop in order to realize the obstacles hindering the acquisition of export financing in the country. He stressed the importance of shedding light on policies, government laws, market circumstances, and the companies' awareness of the principles of financing their readiness to acquire financing, etc. Concluding his address, Dr. Adib al-Afifi, Director of Exports Support Foreign Trade, DED’s International Economic Relations Sector, expressed his wish that participants will put together proposals that would provide proper solutions to remove the obstacles hindering financing exports, laying emphasis on the need to determine the starting-point towards such solution. Al-Afifi expressed thanks appreciation to all participants in the workshop through which DED is looking forward to consolidate partnership with the bodies undertaking export financing in Abu Dhabi.
Fatma Al-Shehi, Economic Data Analyst at DED's Exports Support Foreign Trade Department, gave a presentation on the export financing services offered by DED with the aim of fulfilling the strategic goals set by Abu Dhabi's economic vision for the year 2030. According to Shehi, the vision relies heavily on the diversification of economic activities, raising the volume of national investments exports, and improving promotional activities of the private sector. Al-Shahi, highlighting the importance of the role to be performed by DED's Abu Dhabi Center for Exports Support, stated that the center operates with a clear strategy with the aim of promoting the exporting potentials of the companies factories in Abu Dhabi. Towards this end, the center will make available information data to help companies and factories access regional and international markets, link exporters with buyers, minimize or remove the obstacles hindering exports, encourage the private sector to access new markets give it opportunities to get sufficient financing for its commercial activities. During her presentation, Fatima Al-Shehi indicated that the DED in Abu Dhabi is operating according to a strategy to back local exports via three levels: First, meeting the companies' requirements of skills information, second, developing specific programs to promote exports of the industrial sector by increasing value-added features making available considerable job opportunities, third, meeting the companies' requirements by helping them compete in new markets raising their competitiveness in international markets. Discussions were then open between all representatives of national foreign banks and financing entities to answer a number of questions, most importantly the banks' role in addressing the current situation of export financing with regards to organizational issues, market circumstances, companies' awareness of the financing policies adopted by the banks, means and ways of providing proper solutions for both parties, and laying emphasis on financing the industrial sector.