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    ITFC to boost investments under AATB program

    13 May 2018

    The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), member of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB), concluded the Business Forum of the Agadir Agreement and the West African OIC Member Countries, held here. The forum aims to promote, foster and enhance trade and investment flows between participating Arab and African countries under the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program. The sessions of the forum explored numerous key topics including enhancing the legal framework of trade and investments between Agadir Agreement countries and West African countries, as well as improve the incentives for the private sector and the financial instruments for foreign trade. The event included a dedicated session to explore ways to develop trade and investment between the State of Palestine and the West African countries.

    During the forum, ITFC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP), a major financial player in Africa, to extend further its successful partnership with this bank. This is the second agreement signed between the two parties, upon the successful implementation of the first agreement signed in June 2017 with BCP’s Cote d’Ivoire based banking subsidiary, ABI (Banque Atlantique), with the total amount of EUR40 Million financing.

    “Organizing this important forum comes in line with our core mandate to develop and advance intra-OIC trade. ITFC will continue to support member countries’ businesses to have better access to trade finance instruments, as a tool to stimulate growth, create job opportunities and reduce poverty,” said Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC.

    The closing session of the Business Forum had adopted number of recommendations aiming at boosting trade flows between the Agadir Agreement countries and the West African OIC member countries, including the proposal to establish business council between the mentioned countries.

    It is worth mentioning that the “Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program” is a 3-year regional trade promotion program that has been designed with the ultimate objective of leveraging new trade partnerships, strengthening existing ones, and increasing trade flows between the Arab and African regions. In addition, the program shall enhance trade and investment across the two regions through cooperation among trade and investment support institutions.

    On the signing of the extension of the partnership with BCP, Sonbol said, “This MoU has been built on a firm belief of our mutual strategy in relation to regional cooperation. Through BCP’s strong regional networks within African and Arab countries, we can extend financing targeted towards supporting regional trade flows, and this is exactly the core mandate of the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program.”

    Under the said MoU, collaboration will take place by exploring the opportunities proposed by the AATB program to develop specific interventions and dedicated trade finance and trade development components, in addition to supporting Trade between French and English speaking African countries.

    For his part, Kamal Mokdad, BCP co-CEO, head of the international global banking, said: 'Our partnership with ITFC is strengthened through this agreement that will allow the two parties to combine their expertise to boost the effectiveness of the Trade activity on the African and Arab markets.”

    He added: 'This strategic cooperation is reflected in the co-organization of B to B events in Africa, the development of Trade activities in new geographical areas and the support of participative finance in Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa.'

    It is worth mentioning that BCP recently acquired new banks in Mauritius Island and Madagascar in order to penetrate markets of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).


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