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Advancing international trade: OPEC Fund receives ITFC’s Top Partner Award
May 12, 2023: The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) has received “Top Partner Award” from the Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) as the institution’s “partner of choice”. The OPEC Fund has been a strategic partner of the ITFC from the beginning, contributing up to US$4 billion in trade finance to support regional and international trade and promote socio-economic development. The award was presented during an event marking ITFC’s 15th anniversary, which took place on the sidelines of the 2023 Islamic Development Bank Group’s Annual Meetings in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said:
“The price and availability of important goods and services such as food, agricultural products, energy and healthcare are critical for social and economic well-being. Recent global economic challenges and disruptions have demonstrated the significance of international trade in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Our solid and long-standing partnership with ITFC has supported in the establishment of trade value chains, improving many millions of people’s lives.”
ITFC CEO, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, expressed his appreciation for the fruitful collaboration with the OPEC Fund, stating:
"We are proud to honor the OPEC Fund with the Top Partner Award, recognizing their unwavering commitment and significant contributions of up to US$4 billion in trade finance. Through this partnership, we have advanced together the international trade, ensured energy and food securities for our beneficiaries, and positively improved the well-being of millions of people worldwide. This award signifies the strength of our partnership and our shared vision for a prosperous future."
Most recently, in December 2022, the OPEC Fund contributed US$50 million to an ITFC syndicated trade finance facility of US$100 million to improve food security in Uzbekistan by supporting the trade of critical agricultural products. The package is aligned with OPEC Fund’s Food Security Action Plan and is helping to ensure the sustainable supply of essential food and agricultural products at affordable prices in Uzbekistan, which relies on food supplies from the Black Sea region.
Dr. Alkhalifa said:
“Securing international trade in challenging times is key to ensure that people receive essential supplies and to keep critical supply chains for businesses operational. With distinguished partners like ITFC we are focusing our efforts to provide solutions to the world’s most pressing tasks such as food and energy security.”
Since the start of their cooperation, the OPEC Fund has contributed to numerous ITFC trade development programs and initiatives such as the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges program in common countries of operations and provided support for the facilitation of trade finance programs syndicated by ITFC. Together the two organizations support a range of beneficiaries along the trade value chain from smallholder farmers to developing country governments. The OPEC Fund’s loan portfolio financed with ITFC includes agriculture, commodities, energy, industry and health.
About the OPEC Fund
The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is the only globally mandated development institution that provides financing from member countries to non-member countries exclusively. The organization works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international development community to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The OPEC Fund was established in 1976 with a distinct purpose: to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people. Our work is people-centered, focusing on financing projects that meet essential needs, such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. To date, the OPEC Fund has committed more than US$24 billion to development projects in over 125 countries with an estimated total project cost of US$190 billion. The OPEC Fund is rated AA+/Outlook Stable by Fitch and AA, Outlook Positive by S&P. Our vision is a world where sustainable development is a reality for all.