Business Hilights
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ITFC, Afreximbank push African Trade with $100m, €50m Murabaha deals

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), a multilateral financial institution established by African governments and institutional investors, have signed a US$100-Million agreement and a EUR 50-Million Murabaha agreement with the aim of facilitating and financing exports amongst African countries and between Africa and the rest of the world.

Business Hilights recalls that the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation is an autonomous entity within the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. ITFC commenced operations in January 2008 with the purpose of consolidating all the trade finance businesses that used to be handled by various windows within the IsDB Group. The consolidation of IsDB Group’s trade finance activities under a single umbrella enhanced the Corporation’s efficiency in service delivery by enabling rapid responses to customer needs in a market-driven business environment.

The agreements were signed by Hani Salem Sonbol, the CEO of ITFC, and Mr. Amr Kamel, Executive Vice President, Business Development & Corporate Banking of Afreximbank, in a ceremony held during the Afro-Arab Trade Finance Forum, which was organized by the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) on 21 December 2017 in Dubai under the Arab Africa Trade Bridges Program.

The facilities are intended to be used to support procurement from suppliers from the member and non-member countries, including local purchase, to promote trade across Africa.

Sonbol, CEO of ITFC, stated that “This partnership comes as part of ITFC’s commitment to support the development of the African member countries’ exports as an important lever toward the sustainable growth, job creation and poverty reduction.”

He pointed out that this partnership will be utilized to finance African OIC member countries under the “Arab-Africa Trade Bridges” Program, a regional trade promotion program that aims at addressing some of the challenges faced in promoting trade between the two regions and supporting South-South cooperation.

ITFC boss also delivered a keynote speech at the opening session of the Forum that focused on identifying the prospects and opportunities between the Arab countries and Africa and the best ways to tackle the challenges that hinder the development of the trade flows in these countries.

Executive Vice President at Afreximbank, Mr. Amr Kamel, in his speech, observed that Afreximbank saw the Murabaha partnership agreement as a stepping stone towards greater collaboration in pursuit of the Bank’s shared vision with ITFC. He said that “ITFC has demonstrated that it stands shoulder to shoulder with the African Export-Import Bank as they collaborate to develop the African Continent and promote inter-African trade.”

“I see great prospect for the unfolding Afreximbank-ITFC partnership,” Mr. Kamel added, “but I am mindful that realizing the tremendous opportunities will require determination and hard work. We are committed to invest our resources in that direction.”