Officials during the event.
Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), the UAE Federal export credit company, has entered into a historic collaboration with Israel Export Insurance Corp. Ltd. (ASHRA).
ECI will provide buyer’s credit guarantees to the funding bank for Ghana’s Dhs540 million (EUR140 million) healthcare project, which will see the construction of four hospitals and the first main central medical storage facility in the country.
The agreement, signed by Massimo Falcioni, CEO of ECI and Nissim Ben Eli, CEO of ASHRA, is related to the first Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project between the UAE and Israel after the signing of the historic Abraham Accords in September 2020.
Hosted by the partner bank in the project, Israel Discount Bank (IDB), the signing ceremony took place on June 19th in Tel Aviv. The ceremony was headed by Uri Levin, CEO of Discount Group and Yuval Gavish, Deputy CEO, Head of Corporate Banking, with the honourable attendance of Frederick Mintah-Agyemang, Head of Mission for Ghana to Israel; Mohamed Mahmoud Fateh Ali Abdulla Al Khaja, UAE Ambassador to the State of Israel; and Michal Gur Aryeh, Director, Economic Affairs with Latin America, the Caribbean & Africa at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel.
It brings together both countries’ export credit agencies, Ghana’s Ministry of Finance, a healthcare construction company, and a commercial bank. It also sets the stage for broader economic and trade partnerships following another historic milestone – the signing of the UAE-Israel Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
The Ministry of Health of Ghana awarded the contract to EDC International, a leading Israel engineering and construction company with a presence in the UAE. EDC International will execute the project’s second phase with a total value of Dhs406 million (EUR105 million), which is expected to provide ease of access to advanced medical facilities for several thousands of Ghanaian citizens.
Under the agreement, ECI co-guarantee with ASHRA the financing facility offered by IDB to the Ministry of Finance of Ghana, which will pay EDC International to construct the hospitals. ECI will provide Dhs185 million in reinsurance coverage, accounting for 49 per cent of the total coverage offered for the second phase of the project.
By partnering with ASHRA on this project, Etihad Credit Insurance has also generated Dhs185 million (EUR48 million) worth of economic activity through exports and re-exports of products and services from the UAE.
On the sidelines of this momentous ceremony, both export credit agencies discussed with IDB for further future collaboration in order to help the UAE and Israeli companies win more joint international projects.
Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade and Deputy Chairman of ECI’s Board of Directors, said: “ECI’s efforts will help to boost momentum from our recently signed trade deal with Israel and unlock new trade and investment opportunities across the Middle East, Africa and beyond. In the first quarter of 2022 itself, the total value of non-oil trade between the UAE and Israel exceeded the $1 billion mark, and there’s much more room to grow.”
Massimo Falcioni, CEO of ECI, said. “As part of the commitment of ECI to deliver the vision of the UAE’s leadership in driving sustainable development goals around the world, we’re delighted to collaborate with ASHRA to finance several healthcare projects in Ghana. Advanced hospitals and proper medical storage facilities are critical to providing high-level patient care in the post-pandemic era. UAE’s collaboration with Israel reflects both countries’ joint objective to further improve people’s lives across the globe by providing them with better healthcare facilities through project financing backed by state ECAs,” Falcioni added.
Nissim Ben Eli, CEO of ASHRA, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with ECI after a corporation agreement was signed between ASHRA and ECI in 2020 to boost the trade between the two countries. It is a milestone project for both countries to work together to improve the healthcare sector in Ghana, and we look forward to more collaborative projects with the export credit agency of the UAE in the near future.”
This project comprises the construction of a new general regional hospital in Tema, the largest port city in Ghana, which will function as a secondary referral centre with teaching facilities. It also includes a new primary level facility at Nkoranza with specialised services, an accident and emergency centre to augment services within an existing hospital at Dormaa, and a redeveloped medical store and mechanical workshop in Accra.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) in Ghana will construct these facilities to meet the growing healthcare requirements of the country as the country’s Capital Investment Programme of the MOH for the years 2016-2020 underscored the urgent necessity of improving the healthcare sector in the country.