RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Export-Import Bank is set to open two offices in Africa in 2023, as it plans exports worth SR1.5 billion ($400 million) through these centers, said its CEO.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative on Oct. 27, Saad bin Abdulaziz Al-Khalb said the bank is increasingly focusing on Africa as it plans global expansion in the future.
“We have the plan to open our first two international offices in Africa. One in South Africa, and another in Egypt. We are targeting to attract or utilize SR1.3 billion or SR1.5 billion exports through these offices in a three year period,” said Al-Khalb.
Al-Khalb said the Saudi EXIM Bank has provided SR20 billion to support the Kingdom’s exports since its establishment in February 2020.
He further pointed out that the bank supplied SR10 billion to Saudi exporters in 2022 until September end.
He added that this support shows the “flexibility and ability of Saudi EXIM to react to the market need and fill the gap as needed to export more and more.”
Al-Khalb insisted the bank will contribute to the Kingdom’s National Industrial Strategy by providing financial solutions and insurance to exporters.
The Saudi Industrial Strategy aims to increase exports to SR560 billion in 2030 from SR250 billion in 2020 — finally reaching over SR900 billion by 2035.
Al-Khalb further added that Saudi EXIM Bank is working closely with ACWA Power on two projects — a solar power plant and a wind plant.
He added: “We are going to help the company (ACWA Power) and support their financial needs to build those new power plants on the regional level.”
Al-Khalb, however, did not reveal the amount involved in the deal with ACWA Power and said that negotiations are still underway, and the exact figure will be unveiled by the first quarter of 2023.
He pointed out that 80 percent of Saudi EXIM Bank’s portfolio is allocated to the industrial sector and 40 percent is exclusively supplied to small and medium enterprises.
Al-Khalb also lauded Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Kingdom’s global resilient logistics initiatives.
“On Sunday, His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced these great initiatives. The initiative itself mentioned that there will be an investment of around SR40 billion in the next three years,” Al-Khalb said.
While speaking at a panel discussion during the event, Al-Khalb said that the main objective of EXIM is to ensure that no Saudi cross-border export fails due to a lack of insurance or financing.
He added that Saudi Arabia’s Export Credit Agency and EXIM Bank are strategic partners for commercial and financial institutions, and support them in their credit offering and mitigating financial risks while carrying out cross-border and long-term transactions.