Marking Cooperation in Trade Development through the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges Program
(Rabat, Morocco, 1 November 2018) – The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB), has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) concerning cooperation in trade development and trade capacity enhancement. The cooperation forms part of ITFC’s Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program which was officially launched last year in Morocco under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. The agreements with The Kingdom of Morocco, was signed at the recently held First Meeting of the Governing Board of the AATB in Morocco, with the view to develop a general framework for the development of bilateral and regional cooperation and coordination.
To support trade and trade infrastructure through a series of programs including AATB, the agreement was signed between Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC and Ms. Rakiya Eddarhem, Secretary of State to the Minister of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy in Charge of Foreign Trade, Kingdom of Morocco. The agreement aims to facilitate the design, financing and implementation of technical assistance and capacity-building programs and the development of international trade. It also seeks to put in place structures that will contribute to the strengthening of the human and institutional capacities of the Kingdom of Morocco.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, ITFC CEO and Chairman of the AATB Governing Board indicated that, in addition to the implementation of the AATB Program, cooperation between ITFC and The Kingdom of Morocco would include a number of other projects to advance trade development in the member countries. Emphasizing on the important role Morocco in leading major initiatives that contribute to the development of Africa.
In her statement, Ms. Rakiya Eddarhem, Secretary of State to the Minister of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy in Charge of Foreign Trade, Kingdom of Morocco, said “The Kingdom of Morocco has been supporting the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) program since its launch in 2017, and we will continue to work together towards strengthening economic partnerships between Arab countries and African countries. The signing of this memorandum of understanding today consolidates this partnership and it is in line with the Kingdom’s strategy to increase trade flows between Morocco and the rest of the African countries.
The two-day event witnessed the participation of high level representation from member countries like Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Tunisia; in addition to heads of institutions like the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), ICIEC, Afreximbank and Saudi Exports Program.
The AATB Program is a three-year regional trade promotion program aimed at improving cross regional trade between Arab countries and Sub-Saharan Africa. The Program was designed by the ITFC and key partners to leverage new commercial partnerships, strengthen existing ones and increase trade flows. This also forms part of the objectives aimed at activating the 10-year action program of the OIC, which seeks to increase the level of intra-OIC trade of its foreign trade to 25% by 2025.
About the International Islamic Trade and Finance Corporation (ITFC):
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. It was established with the purpose of advancing trade among OIC member countries, which would ultimately contribute to the overarching goal of improving socioeconomic conditions of the people across the world. Commenced operations in January 2008 (Muharram 1429H), ITFC has since consolidated all trade finance businesses that used to be handled by various windows within the IsDB Group. Earning the A1 rating by Moody’s reflects the Corporation’s efficiency in service delivery by responding swiftly to customer needs in a market-driven business environment.
Since 2008, ITFC has provided more than US$40.2 billion of trade financing to OIC Member Countries, making the Corporation the leading provider of trade solutions for OIC Member Countries’ needs. With a mission of being a catalyst for trade development among OIC Member Countries and beyond, the Corporation helps entities in Member Countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity building tools, which would enable them to successfully compete in the global market.