Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED) is studying the viability of establishing a new sharia-compliant Export-Import (Exim) Bank to support the emirate’s increasing trade links.
DED announced on Wednesday that it has commissioned a project to assess the feasibility and the subsequent establishment of an Exim Bank.
The bank will provide a range of products and services aimed at supporting trade flows into and out of the UAE, DED said in a statement.
“The view is to assist businesses in the UAE to grow their trade flows by providing risk mitigation, financing and market access,” it added.
The new financial institution will deal directly with international bodies and organisations and other Exim banks around the work to promote UAE trade. It will also coordinate with local authorities, regulators and companies in the trade sector to enhance cooperation.
Sami Dhaen Al Qamzi, director general of Dubai DED, said: “Dubai has one of the best infrastructures to serve as a regional hub for international trade flows.
“It is our aim to double trade flows over the next five years. The Exim Bank, aligned to some of the best global operating models, will support the achievement of this objective and enhance our existing position.”
The proposed Exim Bank is expected to be the world’s first fully sharia compliant export-import institution, and is part of Dubai’s aim to emerge as a global hub for Islamic finance.
DED said it has appointed Dubai-based Noor Investment Group as an exclusive advisor for the project.
Ahmed Al Janahi, deputy CEO, Noor Investment Group and Noor Bank, said: “A dedicated team from Noor Investment Group is conducting the initial financial, administrative and marketing studies for the project.
“The [Exim] bank will focus on enhancing Dubai’s international trade as we move towards Expo 2020,” he added.
Dubai foreign trade volumes crossed Dhs1.329 trillion last year, up 7.6 per cent and Dhs94 billion compared to 2012, according to official statistics.
Imports rose 10 per cent to Dhs811 billion, while exports and re-exports increased by four per cent to hit Dhs518 billion.
The emirate’s top trading partners include India, China and the US.