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EXIM

SAUDI ARABIA - Finance

Saad Alkhalb

CEO, Saudi Export-Import Bank (Saudi EXIM Bank)

Bio

Saad Alkhalb was appointed CEO of Saudi EXIM Bank in May 2021. He has over 25 years of experience in the private sector within KSA and abroad with leading global organizations in the fields of banking services and manufacturing. Furthermore, Alkhalb worked in the public sector where he served as vice minister of transport and more recently as president of the Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI). He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and has attended several advanced training programs in the fields of strategic planning, financial management, bank credit, and corporate financing.

Saudi EXIM Bank is a key player in the Kingdom’s mission to diversify its economy and support local SMEs, businesses, and entrepreneurs.
TBY talks to Saad Alkhalb, CEO of Saudi Export-Import Bank (Saudi EXIM Bank).
Can you shed some light on Saudi EXIM Bank, and how is it positioned to create added value for Saudi-made exports?

Founded in 2020, Saudi EXIM Bank has been established to promote non-oil Saudi exports, increase their availability in global markets and boost their ability to compete across various sectors worldwide. 2022 was Saudi EXIM’s first fully operational year, as the bank has made considerable strides, approving export-focused loans worth over SAR3.5 billion by 3Q2022. Through the provision of financing services, guarantees and export credit insurance, the bank’s strategic aim is to ensure transformational change for Saudi Arabia’s economy beyond petroleum. We have approved lending requests totaling SAR14.5 billion since inception in addition to approved export credit insurance of over SAR5 billion. Our export credit activities have helped export activities into over 50 countries.

Can you elaborate on Saudi EXIM’s efforts to facilitate and increase the global participation for Saudi exporters through strategic partnerships with both national and international institutions?

Saudi EXIM’s newly re-hauled strategy is one which enables Saudi non-oil exports to reach global markets by bridging financing gaps and reducing export risks. From now until 2026, the strategy also focuses on maximizing the economic impact of our transactions, improving customer experience and utilizing innovative, cutting-edge technology. A fundamental component of this strategy is creating strategic partnerships both domestically and globally. Saudi EXIM has signed several MoUs with leading global banking and government organizations to provide tailored financing solutions to the exporters and importers of Saudi goods and services. By adjusting our internal strategy and leveraging the expertise of other institutions through partnerships, Saudi EXIM is on course to help raise the share of Saudi Arabia’s non-petroleum exports relative to non-petroleum GDP to 50% by 2030, which is a prime objective of Vision 2030. Earlier in 2022, Saudi EXIM also signed a cooperative memorandum of understanding with the UK Export Finance (UKEF). The agreement lays the foundation for our organizations to combine financial support to assist UK and Saudi businesses secure export contracts across the world.

In 2021, EXIM Bank signed MoUs with three major Omani banks. What are the focus and relevance of these agreements?

The total exports from Saudi Arabia into Oman reached close to SAR4.4 billion during 2021, underlining deep commercial and collateral ties between the two countries. In line with the two nations’ cooperation, Saudi EXIM’s engagement with major Omani banks is a measure to strengthen industrial cooperation and fortify regulations and services concerning Saudi exports. Our agreement with the banks also discussed cooperation in extending credit financing and securing financing guarantees for Saudi exporters and Omani clients. A key highlight of such an engagement with Omani banks is to avail lines of credit in support of Oman’s procurements of Saudi non-oil goods and services.

What specific initiatives and actions are you promoting to generate awareness of your services and products among Saudi exporters?

By continuing to establish strategic partnerships with multinational financing institutions, such as HSBC Bank Middle East Limited (HSBC) and Saudi British Bank (SABB), Saudi EXIM continues to raise awareness and grow the ranks of its service clientele. In 2022, the bank also inaugurated its Jeddah-based representative office located within the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI). Since its inception, Saudi EXIM has also participated in a total of five conferences and exhibitions, 22 workshops, and three trade missions. These efforts have been made to help Saudi non-oil exporters and the bank’s wider potential and existing customer base gain a better understanding of their range of products and services and raise the financial literacy of our clients. With the establishment of our new office in Jeddah, Saudi EXIM is also closely positioned to two of the Kingdom’s key export outlets, Jeddah Islamic Port and King Abdullah Port at King Abdullah Economic City.

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