TUNIS — The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, enters into a strategic framework agreement with the Government of Tunisia on Tuesday (Oct. 4) on the sidelines of the two-day MENA-OECD Ministerial Conference that opened Monday at Hotel Le Palace Gammarth in Tunis, Tunisia. The agreement was signed by Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of ITFC and Mr. Fadhel Abdelkefi, Tunisian Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation, and an IDB governor.
The agreement provides a tool to support and encourage the development of the Tunisian economy. It again placed the ITFC at the forefront in the implementation of regional integration programs (AfTIAS) and inter-regional trade development (Arab Africa Trade Bridge Program and Special Program for Central Asia – SPCA); and ITFC Trade Development programs that contribute to the achievement of the trade related SDGs in IDB member countries.
Moreover, the agreement brings closer the ITFC and the Tunisian government to hold strategic discussions on matters related to the country’s developmental plan for the next four years, underlining the former’s strategic role to play in the government of Tunisia in further strengthening the country’s economy.
Under the accord, the Tunisian IDB governor is mandated to position the framework agreement as an annual strategic exercise and engage in a high-level follow up committee to be established and to review the execution of the deal twice a year.
The deal also allows ITFC intervention in both private and public sectors, which reflects the importance of supporting the private sector and get feedback on the areas in need of trade solutions and support, in which case, support for the private sector takes a priority that requires trade solutions.
From his side, Eng. Hani Sonbol stressed on ITFC’s continuous dedication for the socio-economic development of Tunisia. He also added, “ITFC is trying its best to align its support with other economic promotion programs, designed by ITFC Member Countries to guarantee reaching the highest developmental impact. This is clearly shown in ITFC’s huge contribution in financing this strategic sector (Energy), which is considered to be one of the main strategic sectors to the Tunisian Government”. Moreover, he clarified that this financing “will contribute to achieving one of the most important goals for ITFC, which is enhancing Intra-OIC trade among the member countries”
It is worth mentioning that, since its inception in 2008, ITFC has approved several trade financing operations with a total of US$349 million in favor of Tunisia. Also it’s worth mentioning, that the trade financing for Tunisia provided by IDB before the establishment of ITFC amounted US$1,131 million which results into total of US$1,480 million trade financing granted to Tunisia by IDB Group.