The year 2017 holds a historical significance for the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) because it marks a major milestone, which is the celebration of ITFC 10th anniversary, said Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO, ITFC.
The Corporation, member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, achieved significant results in trade finance and trade development, with cumulative net finance approvals and total disbursements reaching $40.2 billion and 31.01 billion respectively. The pooled financial resources from ITFC partners such as banks and finance institutions amounted to $24.4 billion. These figures reflect the ITFC pivotal and catalytic role in leveraging funding for major strategic trade operations in favor of member countries.
“ITFC adopted and began implementing a ten-year strategy in 2017, which is aligned to the IsDB ten-year strategy. A new organizational structure was implemented while personnel were rearranged and the ITFC’s two main tasks: trade finance and trade development were integrated and combined consistently within a unified framework,” said Sonbol in a statement during the ITFC 10th anniversary celebrations at Four Seasons Hotel, Tunis.
“Because ITFC was keen to benefit from its past experience in trade and that of IsDB, it adopted a new strategy focusing on providing integrated trade solutions to member countries over the upcoming years while at the same time fortified its presence to get closer to client. Today, it operates offices in six cities: Dakar, Jakarta, Istanbul, Dhaka, Rabat and Dubai,” he added.
The event was attended by a number of Ministers of Finance, Economy and Investment as well as senior officials and representatives of the private sector and civil society who participated in the 43rd Meeting of the Board of Governors of the IsDB Group, held in Tunisia Sunday April 01-05 under the theme “Partnerships for Sustainable Development”.
At the level of trade development, ITFC continued to integrate and combine its trade finance and trade development activities and capacity building. It launched a number of initiatives including one to support West African cotton producers and help them expand and penetrate export markets and another to support trade among Arab countries as well as the launch of Arab-African Trade Bridges Program.
ITFC was keen to enhance collaboration with major international partners such as the International Chamber of Commerce, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, International Trade Center and Economic Community of West
African States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s corporations and Arab corporations.
Sonbol concluded that ITFC’s new strategy and business model will ensure that the corporation make more milestone achievements and emerge as the top provider of trade solutions to member countries in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
During the event, a number of senior officials and executive directors were honored including IsDB President and Chairman of Board of Executive Directors Dr. Bandar Hajjar; and ITFC former CEO Dr. Waleed Abdulmohsen Al-Wohaib.
A number of long-term partners were honored as well including:
- Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Dr. Sahr Nasr
- Bangladeshi Finance Minister and Islamic Development Bank Governor Abul Maal Abdul Muhith;
- Burkina Faso Minister of Economy, Finance and Development Khadjia Rosine Coulibaly;
- Director-General of Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa Dr. Sidi Ould Tah;
- International Trade Center Executive Director Arancha Gonzalez;