SACE ESG RE-EVOLUTION: A PUSH TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE Extra Content proposal for the GCC Media in view of the SACE corporate event

(MENAFN- SEC Newgate) Alongside COP28, SACE – Italy’s Export Credit Agency – brings together the leaders from top-tier companies and financial institutions of the Gulf area to discuss the needs and solutions to support sustainable trade and finance.

In this framework, SACE will present its new ESG Strategy: a re-evolutionary roadmap that progressively integrate the Environmental, Social, and Governance criteria in SACE business model, to channel SACE impacts towards a sustainable growth path (press release and agenda enclosed).

This note includes some extra contents on i) key business & trade data between Italy and the GCC area and ii) SACE presence, activities, and operations in the Region.

Extra-content note
Italy-GCC trade & business potential
• In 2022, Italy’s exports exceeded the value of EUR 600 bln, operating in a wide range of sectors, including high-tech machineries, agrifood, new technologies and high-end consumer products. Italy’s supply chain represents a unique industrial model in the global landscape, in which large champions and a multitude of SMEs work together to guarantee high value-added goods.

• The “Sistema Italia”, considered as one of the most competitive public support systems worldwide, is a key trading and investment partner for the UAE and the whole GCC region, poised to become even more strategic in the current geopolitical scenario.
• COP28 highlights the need of massive capital investments for the Gulf countries in the energy transition field and, at the same time, new business opportunities for Italian exporters are arising. The event “SACE ESG Re-evolution: a Push towards a Sustainable Future” is intended to be as a platform to link the Italian know-how and expertise with the ambitious plans of the Gulf countries towards sustainability.
• In the GCC, the potential growth of Italian export is mainly driven by the UAE (EUR 6 bln in exports in 2022), Saudi Arabia (EUR 4 bln), and Qatar (EUR 3.4 bln), showing interesting dynamics with respect to the green projects, such as electrical equipment and machinery.
SACE presence, activities, and operations in UAE & GCC Region
• SACE has a presence in the UAE since 2016 with an International Office (currently located in DIFC - Emirates Financial Towers), representing a strategic hub for all the GCC countries. SACE’s presence in the GCC has been recently reinforced through the opening of the Riyadh Office in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

• SACE is currently working on a EUR 8.7 bln pipeline in the GCC Region, in strategic sectors for the Italian supply chain, such as Renewables, Infrastructures and Constructions, Logistics, Food and Beverage and Energy.

• In 2017, SACE launched the Push Strategy programme aimed at increasing the commercial opportunities for Italian exporters in strategic and growing markets. Through the Push Strategy, SACE guarantees medium-to-long term financing in favour of top-tier foreign buyers. An integral and fundamental part of the programme is the commitment to consider Italian supplies for the procurement of the borrower’s investment plans through a series of business matching activities between Italian SMEs interested in becoming accredited as suppliers and the procurement teams of the foreign counterparts, organised by SACE in cooperation with the Italian business associations and institutions present in the relevant countries. [In total, thanks to the Push Strategy, SACE guaranteed EUR 7 billion in financing, and organised 150 business matching meetings in Italy and abroad involving over 5,500 Italian companies, most of them SMEs].

• In the GCC, SACE finalised Push Strategy transactions with five big players (e.g., BEE’AH and Bapco Energies – former Nogaholding) for a total of EUR 2.7 bln and arranged over 600 business matching activities (in person, both in Italy and overseas, as well as online) involving 1,700 Italian SMEs.
• Below some successful stories alongside key GCC players:
o BEE’AH. In 2022, SACE finalized a Push Facility in support of the investment plans of BEE’AH, aiming at facilitating the development of commercial relationships between the Emirati company and Italian businesses and increase procurement from Italy in the coming years. Based in Sharjah, BEE’AH is the leading company in the United Arab Emirates in the waste management sector. It manages all stages of the waste cycle - collection, recycling, disposal, and waste-to-energy processes - in the Emirates and other countries within its concession area.
o Archirodon. In 2022, SACE guaranteed a Push facility worth USD 50 mln supporting the investment plans of Archirodon Group, active since 1959 in the infrastructure and construction sector in several countries, with a focus on the Middle East. This facility was of great relevance to SACE since it was the first one concluded within the framework of the Sustainability Linked Loan principles.
o Bapco Energies (former Nogaholding). In 2022, SACE established a USD 300 mln Push Facility in favour of Nogaholding. Through the 10-year financing, structured as a Sustainability-Linked Loan, Nogaholding was able to accelerate the efforts toward sustainable economic growth that aligns with the Bahrain’s energy demands while adhering to decarbonization commitments.
Other activities include:
• SACE Connects in the GCC countries. From 2018 to date, 37 business matching initiatives have been organised involving also various buyers of the region, from large industrial groups benefiting from Push lines such as Archirodon to retailers of consumer goods in the agri-food sector. In total, these initiatives saw the participation of almost 1,700 Italian companies and the organisation of almost 600 B2B meetings in Milan, Rimini, Roma, Dubai, Sharjah, Manama, and Kuwait City.
• SACE Education: From 2019 to date, SACE Education has provided (and continues to offer) training with a focus on EAU and GCC Region: customs guides, economic analyses, podcasts, and online events. This year the in-presence initiatives are focusing on the EAU, the latest event involving around 70 Italian companies that joined the training session in Rome and gathered insights and tips on how to deploy a digital export strategy to enter the market. All this demonstrates the strong interest that Italian business has in this region.
Focus on SACE International Network
• The SACE International Network counts 13 offices worldwide: Belgrade, Bogotà, Cairo, Dubai, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Mexico City, Mumbai São Paulo, Shanghai, Riyadh. International offices act as catalysts for export opportunities, assisting Italian companies to locate business partners and buyers overseas.
• The main activities can be summarized as follows:
o Work in close connection with Italian companies active in the region and their local counterparties (the Buyers).
o Scout new business opportunities and assist in the credit evaluation of local companies and/or local subsidiaries of international corporates.
o Organise local events to promote the internationalisation of Italian companies, working closely with the local Italian institutions.
o Market training programs ‘made to tailor’ for local companies, banks or ECAs.
o Monitor macroeconomic developments and SACE’s portfolio in the region (including direct contact with local MLAs, IFC/Worldbank offices, as appropriate).


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