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- Strengthening collaborations: Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC, visits OFID
Strengthening collaborations: Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC, visits OFID
From left: Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO, ITFC and OFID Director General Suleiman J Al-Herbish.
Vienna, Austria, March 30, 2017. Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, Chief Executive Officer of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, visited the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) Headquarters in Vienna, Austria where he met with Director-General Mr. Suleiman J Al-Herbish.
The visit included an extensive meeting between both institution heads, as well as technical meetings to discuss trade development & promotion, and trade finance. The visit was marked by signing a letter of agreement by both Eng. Sonbol and Mr. Al-Herbish confirming a grant approved by OFID to ITFC. This grant aims to support the implementation of the first-year action plan for the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges “AATB” Program. The proceeds of the Grant shall mainly be used to finance trade capacity building activities, inter-alia, workshops and training courses for small and medium-sized enterprises.
In keeping with OFID’s mandate, the Grant shall directly benefit nationals of non-OPEC member countries, with the priority being placed on nationals of Sub-Saharan countries.
Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol commended the signing, “OFID’s support to the Arab- Africa Trade Bridges Program reflects the strong belief in the importance of the Program in supporting the trade and economic prospects in the Arab and Africa regions, so that together we help expand the trade capacities of the two regions. It is our mutual mandate to contribute to the enhancement of our member countries’ socio-economic livelihoods and achieve poverty reduction.”
Mr. Suleiman J Al-Herbish, also added, “I am confident that this grant, which represents a new chapter in OFID’s partnership with the ITFC, will contribute to strengthening the cooperation between our two institutions and all members of the Trade Finance and Guarantee Coordination Group. OFID appreciates ITFC’s leading role in the design of the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges Program and its tireless efforts to provide innovative trade finance solutions to its member countries, which include a large number of OFID partner countries.”
It is worth mentioning that the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges Program was launched in the Kingdom of Morocco in the 22nd and 23rd of February by ITFC in partnership with the Ministry of Industry, Trade, Investment, and Digital Economy. The Program aims at enhancing the trade relations, developing the business sector and promoting the economic cooperation between the two regions.
About the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation - ITFC: The ITFC is an autonomous entity within the Islamic Development Bank Group, formed to consolidate the trade finance business that was formerly undertaken by various windows within the IDB Group. The consolidation of the bank’s trade finance activities under a single umbrella increases the efficiency of service delivery by enabling rapid response to customer needs in a market-driven business environment.
A rich heritage of 30 years trade finance experience by the IDB Group puts the ITFC in a leadership position to foster socio-economic development, set new benchmarks for trade financing and ethical based business standards, and develop innovative Shariah compliant trade financing instruments. Operating to world-class standards the ITFC promotes IDB developmental objectives through its two main pillars, Trade Finance and Trade Promotion, to fulfill its brand promise of 'Advancing Trade & Improving Lives'.
About The OPEC Fund for International Development – OFID: The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) is the development finance institution established by the Member States of OPEC in 1976 as a channel of aid to the developing countries. OFID works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international donor community to stimulate economic growth and alleviate poverty in all disadvantaged regions of the world. It does this by providing financing to build essential infrastructure, strengthen social services delivery and promote productivity, competitiveness and trade. OFID’s work is people-centered, focusing on projects that meet basic needs - such as food, energy, clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education – with the aim of encouraging self-reliance and inspiring hope for the future.