The Economic Sector of the League of Arab States and ITFC Sign MoU
The Economic Sector of the League of Arab States and ITFC Sign MoU for Cooperation in the field of Intra-OIC Trade Development Initiatives, under the umbrella of AfTIAS 2.0 and AATB Program
Sept 1 - The League of Arab States (LAS) and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation on Trade Development Interventions and initiatives in favor of Arab countries. The signing took place on the sidelines of the Arab Social and Economic Council Ministerial Session at the League of Arab States headquarters.
The MoU was signed between Dr. Haifa Abu Ghazaleh, LAS Assistant Secretary General, Head of Social Affairs Sector and Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC, and aims to set a general framework for areas of cooperation related to developing trade and enhancing capacities in international trade and intra-Arab trade, in line with the priorities and needs of the member states of the League of Arab States. These programs and interventions will be implemented under the umbrella of the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program and the second phase of the Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States (AfTIAS 2.0). Special focus will be placed on supporting the least developed Arab countries, in order to advance inter-Arab trade, including the development of customs outlets, cooperation in the organization of Arab regional conferences and workshops in various fields of policies and the development of regional trade exchanges with the aim of enhancing the benefit of the advantages granted by the Greater Arab Free Trade Zone.
H.E Amb. Haifa Abu-Ghazaleh stated that the cooperation between the General Secretariat of Las and ITFC through this 3-year MoU, serves as a roadmap towards achieving the common goals of the two institutions to serve joint Arab action, as the MoU includes a number of issues of common interest, the most important of which is the development of the volume of trade exchange between Arab countries through improving access to Arab markets and following international best practices in the field of liberalizing trade in goods and services between Arab countries.
From his end, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol commented on the importance of partnership with LAS and the cooperation that aims to enhance the capabilities of Arab countries and respond to their needs in the field of trade financing and development, as well as promoting Arab economic integration.
During his speech at the Arab Social and Economic Council Ministerial Session, Eng. Sonbol affirmed that ITFC works closely with its various partners to utilize all available opportunities at the regional and international levels to contribute to increasing and raising the gains of Arab countries from international trade, noting that the total approvals provided by ITFC since its inception in 2008 reached around US$62 billion, of which 40% have been allocated to the least developed member countries and 31% in favor of Arab countries.
He also clarified that ITFC is preparing to discuss the second package of projects of AfTIAS 2.0, and this comes after the adoption of the first package, which consists of 5 country projects for the benefit of Egypt, Algeria, Mauritania and Yemen in areas related to foreign trade that are priority in the development plans of these countries. Three regional projects have also been approved in favor of Arab countries, two of which aim to support economic integration, as they will be implemented by the League of Arab States and the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, and the third for the benefit of the Arab Tourism Organization.
Eng. Sonbol also clarified the arrangements for organizing the first Arab Trade Forum, which will be held in cooperation with LAS early 2023, within the framework of the AfTIAS 2.0.
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