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ITFC Announces “Aid For Trade (AFT)” For The Arab States Intiative


Doha, Qatar 21 April 2012: The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, represented by Dr. Waleed Al-Wohaib, Chief Executive Officer, announced a major trade capacity development initiative for Arab States.

This initiative obligates ITFC to provide a platform to assist the Arab countries in mobilizing its resources in order to accelerate the pace of trade reforms and enhance competitiveness in global and regional markets.  With the support of five United Nations specialized agencies, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), this initiative will address the challenges of unemployment, particularly youth unemployment  and provides momentum for the full realization of the Pan-Arab Free Trade Area.  The League of Arab States is also collaborating closely with the ITFC in the implementation of the initiative.

During the announcement, Dr. Waleed Al-Wohaib mentioned that the Arab region is full of high potentials and opportunities especially in this specific period of time. Unleashing entrepreneurial potential and creative talents, economies in the Arab countries are diversifying; this helps in providing more opportunities for women and men and helps them live a more resilient life.  “The Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States we are announcing today will help Arab countries to mobilize resources to expand trade beyond current levels, and boost its economic growth and employment, reverse deindustrialization, and ultimately achieve poverty elimination and human development outcomes”, Dr. Waleed said.

The Islamic Development Bank Group will contribute US$2 million in the first phase of the initiative. Resources from within and outside the region are being mobilized to support the implementation of policy reforms as well as the building and operation of trade-related physical infrastructure and trade corridors in the region. UNDP has been tapped to provide coordination in the implementation of the initiative across the region and the delivery of results on the ground. The other UN agencies will provide specialized interventions including assistance in the design of policy reforms to address unemployment and competitiveness and enhance the implementation of the Pan-Arab Free Trade Area.

About the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation – ITFC:

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) was established in 2005 and commenced business operations in 2008 with an Authorized Capital of $3 billion, as an autonomous and dedicated trade finance entity of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group. ITFC inherited the pioneering mantle of trade finance expertise and its application of innovative Islamic finance instruments developed over a period of more than 30 years when it was undertaken by various departments in IDB.

This rich heritage and the savoir-faire position ITFC at the forefront of international trade to foster socio-economic development, setting new benchmarks in ethical trade financing and developing innovative Shariah-compliant solutions. In addition, ITFC supports the development of markets and trading capacities of its member countries of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in order to promote the IDB Group’s strategic developmental objectives.

Operating to world-class standards, the ITFC’s mission is clear from its mandate to be a catalyst for the development of trade among OIC Member Countries and with the rest of the world. ITFC aspires to be a recognized provider of trade solutions for the OIC Member Countries’ needs; in order to fulfill its brand promise of ‘Advancing Trade & Improving Lives”.

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