The Saudi Export-Import Bank (Saudi Exim) is only three years old, but already it has a remarkably mature success story to share.


In 2022, Saudi Exim helped Saudi’s non-oil exports reach more than 60 countries around the globe, nearly one-third of the United Nations’ member states. They included the US, UK, China, Sweden, India, France and Pakistan, as well as several African and South American nations.

This year, Saudi Exim has continued the essential task of expanding operations by providing funding lines for regional and international commercial banks and signing agreements with key institutional entities in the region and further afield, not least Iraq, Bahrain, Turkey, China, Japan, Korea, Italy and Nigeria. The bank is also increasingly focusing on Africa with plans for its first international offices to be based on the continent.

Meanwhile, Saudi Exim has launched a five-year strategic plan that provides a viable roadmap to 2026. A primary objective of this strategy is the empowerment of the Saudi non-oil economy in international markets through financing and risk mitigation, economic diversification and sustainability efforts.

This has seen Saudi Exim double down on its commitment to support local exporters, bolstered by a number of new partnerships with leading global financial institutions. These collaborations have allowed the bank to expand its range of credit solutions, bridge credit gaps and further empower the private sector’s involvement in the non-oil export industry. Furthermore, the bank is a proud member of several international unions dedicated to supporting exporter activities through indirect financing.

Saudi Exim’s current offerings include a line of financing products, such as domestic and international lines of credit, working capital financing and structured financing for international products. Additionally, demand for the bank’s insurance and indirect financing solutions has experienced consistent, year-on-year increases. The competitive advantages these products provide have allowed a growing number of local exporters to confidently explore new markets.

As CEO Saad bin Abdulaziz AlKhalb puts it: “Saudi Exim employs all its capabilities to raise the contribution of non-oil exports to 50% of the non-oil GDP. Saudi Exim has focused on consistently creating and capitalising on various opportunities to better serve its strategic goals and mission. This includes extending necessary financial support to exporters.”

Poised for growth

This has been a year of growth, consolidation and activity for the bank across multiple fronts. A primary focus has been the SME sector, given its importance to the global economy and, more specifically, the potential impact export financing can have on long-term SME growth. In the first six months of this year, Saudi Exim committed and approved SR12bn in total facilities, of which over SR6bn is committed for insurance ceilings and more than SR5bn is approved for financing requests.

Roughly 80% of the bank’s portfolio is allocated to the industrial sector and 40% exclusively to small and medium enterprises.

ESG principles are at the heart of Saudi Exim’s ethos, with the bank ensuring that its activities have a positive impact on financial, environmental, social, economic and business sustainability.

Throughout its years of operation, Saudi Exim has progressively expanded into the medium- to long-term arena, with a keen anticipation for the upcoming projects in its pipeline. These projects offer substantial opportunities for local exports, encompassing both large and small enterprises, to participate in international projects, thus unlocking avenues for growth.

As CEO AlKhalb notes: “Our primary objective is that no cross-border export transaction from Saudi Arabia fails due to a lack of insurance of financing.”