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Business News of Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Source: ITFC

ITFC Arab Africa Trade Bridges Program facilitates over 1320 bi- lateral trade meetings at Agri-Food Forum in Dubai

ITFC CEO, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB), reported 1320 bilateral meetings and 200 deals under discussion through its flagship program: the Arab Africa Trade Bridges Program (AATB) at an Agri-food Trade Forum held recently in Dubai in collaboration with Dubai Exports.

The two-day forum promoted trade and investment between African countries and the UAE and 8 other Arab Countries. Attended by 40 companies from 15 African countries, in addition to 70 companies from the UAE and Arab countries, the event focused on how to increase the import and export of Agri-Food products. Agri-food companies from Mauritania, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Benin, Gabon, Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Mozambique were among the participants in the forum.

Commenting on the importance of the agri-food forum, ITFC CEO, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol said, “With the huge potential of trade and investment between the Arab and the African regions, The AATB Program attracted the interest of several regional financial institutions and Arab and African Member Countries.

The USD 500 million agreement signed last month with one of the main AATB partners to finance Arab and African trade is a strong signal on the growing importance given to African markets. Similarly, the high number of participating companies in this B2B and the 1300 business meetings held confirm the increasing trend to explore the African Markets.”

The AATB Program is a regional trade promotion program, led by ITFC to address some of the challenges faced in promoting trade between the two regions. The Program aims to enhance the potential for products of Arab origin to be exported into African countries and vice versa, and to create a platform that allows for business exchange and greater awareness of intra-regional trade opportunities.

In addition, it brings together business communities from Arab and African countries, providing an opportunity for exporters to present their products; and creates new trade finance and export credit insurance solutions that facilitate to businesses to present their services and products.

ITFC was established to advance trade and contribute to the improvement of socio-economic conditions and sustainable growth in OIC member countries. ITFC has facilitated more than $45 billion of trade financing solutions to OIC member countries since its inception in 2008, in addition to improving access to trade-related capacity building tools, enabling SMEs and growing businesses to compete in the global market.