RIYADH: The Saudi Export-Import Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Italian Export Credit Agency, also known as SACE, to boost trade between the two countries.
The agreement was inked by EXIM Bank CEO Saad bin Abdul Aziz Alkhalb and the head of the Italian agency Alessandra Ricci at SACE’s headquarters in Rome.
The MoU aims at creating a framework for mutual reinsurance to enhance the presence of Saudi exports in Italian markets.
The deal also opens up possibilities for cooperation in the areas of professional development, transfer of knowledge of best practices in export credit, and cooperation in international projects that utilize the Saudi and Italian resources in line with the economic goals of the two parties.
Alkhalb hailed the agreement as a step forward in the bank’s efforts to improve and diversify Saudi non-oil exports and enhance their competitiveness, in addition to providing funding for Saudi exports and insurance services and export credit insurance with competitive advantages.
He also underlined the bank’s efforts to realize the Saudi Vision 2030 through developing and diversifying the list of financial partners and benefiting from their services and international relations to enhance the presence of Saudi products in the European and global markets, and increasing opportunities for trade exchange between the Kingdom and Italy.
EXIM Bank is one of the main pillars in supporting Saudi exports and increasing their impact on the development of the national economy, in line with the targets of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to increase the value of non-oil exports from 16 percent to 50 percent of the non-oil gross domestic product.
The latest agreement between Saudi Arabia and Italy comes a month after the two celebrated 90 years of diplomatic ties.
The Kingdom is the European country’s biggest trading partner in the Gulf and the second-biggest in the wider Arab world.
The value of bilateral trade was $8.6 billion in 2021 — a 32.9 percent increase compared with 2020.
In an interview with Arab News to mark the 90th anniversary in December, Italy’s foreign minister and deputy prime minister, Antonio Tajani, said: “We both believe that broader prosperity, security and cohesion may be reached if the countries succeed in jointly addressing common challenges, such as terrorism and irregular migration flows, and by taking advantage of opportunities such as the digital and green transitions.”