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IsDB Group and ITC join hands to implement projects and strenghthen SME competitiveness

ITFC and ITC sign partnership agreement on project implemenation in Djibouti and Algeria

03 May 2017

Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group and the International Trade Centre  (ITC), will work together to implement joint projects and strengthen the competitives of SMEs in IsDB member countries. This was disclosed during an official visit by Arancha Gonzalez, Exective Director of ITC, to the President of IsDB, Dr. Bandar Hajjar in Jeddah.

During the visit,  two agreements were signed between the two institutions; first with IsDB on creating pro-poor value chain and initiating joint projects as well as implementing trade related technical assistance. The agreement was signed by IsDB President Dr. Bandar Hajjar, and the Executive Director of ITC, Arancha Gonzalez.  

The CEO of IsDB Group trade financing arm, the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), Mr Hani Sonbol signed the second agreement with ITC Executive Director, Arancha Gonzalez. The agreement with ITFC  is an amendment of the Partnership Agreement for the implementation of two new development projects in Djibouti and Algeria under AfTIAS (Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States) programme.

“No instituion can address development challenges by itself alone. Cooperation is very important. IsDB is interested in promoting cooperation with other development institutions. Our new approach is to transform from a development bank to a developer institution. Financing alone will not solve development challenges. We have to include trade as a package. We have to support the citizens of our member countries and teach them how to conduct business.” Dr. Bandar Hajjar stated.

Dr. Bandar Hajjar, IsDB President (right); Mr. Hani Sonbol, CEO, ITFC (left) and Mrs. Arancha Gonzalez (Centre)

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Commenting on the agreements with ITC, ITFC CEO, Mr Hani Sonbol stated: “Feasibility study to develop a Handicrafts Export Village Project in Djibouti aims to provide the required assistance to Djibouti’s Ministry of Commerce, Handicraft and Consumption in the development of the Handicrafts Export Village as a source for wealth creation, including the analysis of required legal and regulatory settings and institutional infrastructure. Establishing Djibouti Handicrafts Export Village will assist the Government to promote local handicrafts and generate a new strategic focus for tourism. This project will lead to the diversification of the income sources and consolidate the craft sector by providing appropriate methodological tools and, finally, support craftsmen and women to develop their activity on a sustainable basis.”

He added that “National Trade Strategy (NTS) to Support Economic Diversification Project in Algeria focuses on providing technical assistance and capacity-building to key stakeholders and institutions in Algeria to design and lead in the implementation of a NTS. ITC and ITFC received a request from the Government of Algeria for technical assistance to develop a National Trade Strategy (NTS) to enhance the country’s capability of reaping the benefits of regional and international trade.”

In her remarks, the Executive Director of ITC, Arancha Gonzalez stated that she visited IsDB in order to take collaboration to the next level. She added that partnership between development institutions should help in fostering economic development for social impact.

“ITC has expertise in providing market intelligence, fostering a favourable policy and business environment, and working directly with SMEs to develop value chains. We can work togther to synergise our projects and craft new ones.” Added Arancha Gonzalez. 

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© Press Release 2017

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