The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB), today signed eight strategic agreements to cooperate with the public and private sectors. Four agreements were signed with various Egyptian Ministries as well as four agreements with Cameroon, Senegal, and Uzbekistan, and the African Import and Export Bank (Afreximbank).
The Agreement was signed at the 47th Annual Meetings of the Islamic Development Bank Group in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in the presence of Egypt’s Prime Minister H.E Dr. Mustafa Madbouly,, H.E Dr. Hala El-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development of Egypt, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Islamic Development Bank and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Arab Africa Trade Bridges Program (AATB), and H.E Dr. Mohammed Al Jasser, President of the Islamic Development Bank Group. The agreements were signed with H.E. Ms. Nevin Gamea, Minister of Trade and Industry, H.E Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, and Dr. Hisham Tawfiq, Minister of Public Business Sector. The other four agreements were signed by private and public sector representatives in participating countries: Cameroon, Senegal, and Uzbekistan, as well as Afreximbank.
The US$6 billion agreement signed with the Arab Republic of Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation to renew a five-year framework agreement was the largest in terms of dollar amounts. The renewal is an extension of the Framework Agreement signed in 2018 to meet Egypt’s food and energy needs.
The Agreements signed with the ministries and associations were with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, and the Egyptian Exporters Association (Expolink) announcing the conditions of the establishment of the Export Academy under the umbrella of the second phase of the Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States (AfTIAS). The other agreements were signed by members of the AATB Program including Afreximbank, The International Islamic Trade, and Finance Corporation (ITFC), and The Islamic Investment Insurance and Export Credit Corporation (ICIEC) to support the Program’s action plan in the Arab Republic of Egypt to expand Egyptian exports to African markets. The AATB program operates to support Egypt’s efforts to enhance the presence of Egyptian exports in African markets and to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The proposed activities of the Program include organizing Egyptian trade missions for a number of African countries, supporting the participation of Egyptian companies in a number of economic forums and trade fairs in African countries, as well as supporting the participation of Egyptian companies in a number of workshops and meetings of exporters and importers. The objective is to secure increased Egyptian exports and investment projects in Africa, as well as providing financing and export credit insurance for Egyptian exports to African markets.
The fourth agreement also came as a letter of intent which was signed with the Ministry of Public Business Sector to boost Egyptian exports of SMEs by establishing a framework for cooperation to increase trade between Egypt and Africa in cooperation between Jusoor and the Arab Africa Trade Bridges Program. The letter of intent identifies areas of cooperation to support trade finance and trade development and provide advisory services to the Jusoor Company of the Ministry of Public Business Sector, which aims to promote bilateral trade between Egypt and African countries in various sectors such as cotton, as well as logistics, financial and insurance services for exporters and importers.
The remaining four agreements were with representatives of the private and public sector executives in Cameroon, Senegal, Uzbekistan, and the Afreximbank. For the first agreement, it was signed with Senegal on the financing of Murabaha worth €115 million to support the purchase of refined petroleum products to strengthen the energy sector in Senegal. The signing demonstrates ITFC’s commitment to promoting trade between OIC member countries.
The US$24 million second agreement was with Orient Finans Bank, one of the Corporation’s partners in Uzbekistan. The objective of the plan is to support the trade finance needs of the private sector and SME customers, as well as to promote women’s entrepreneurship in Uzbekistan. Under the agreement, ITFC will provide US$24 million in two separate segments, half of which will be allocated to meet the growing demand for Shariah-compliant trade financing between the private sector and clients of the Bank’s SMEs. The other half will be allocated to meet the financing needs of Shariah-compliant trade for women in business.
The third agreement is an €8 million line of the financing agreement and was signed with the Afriland First Bank in Cameroon to support the needs of the Bank’s clients to obtain financing solutions for financed and unfunded trade across key sectors such as energy and agribusiness. The agreement is aligned with achieving the UNSDGs, specifically Number Eight (decent work and economic growth), and number nine (industry, innovation, and infrastructure). The agreement was signed by Mr. Youssoufa Booba, Executive Vice President of Afriland First Bank in Cameroon, and Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC.
Finally, a fourth agreement was signed terms paper between Afreximbank and ITFC to mandate ITFC to raise a US$250 million financing facility that will support Afreximbank’s trade finance program established to address the effects of the Ukrainian crisis on Africa (UKAFPA). Under the agreement, the Corporation will strengthen the Bank’s ability to help its customers in participating member countries purchase goods, particularly commodities that are experiencing a surge in price inflation in the global market. Afreximbank’s UKAFPA program is designed to alleviate the economic challenges resulting from the conflict that led to a global food crisis following the devastating pandemic, coinciding with the world’s starting to emerge from the pandemic. ITFC’s support actions will also promote South-South trade, deepening economic relations between Africa and Arab countries.