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The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and Dubai Exports host B2B Forum to Promote Agri-Food Trade between Arab and African Countries under the Arab Africa Trade Bridges Program

Dubai, 30 April 2019: The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group and Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, organised the Agri-Food Forum to promote trade and investment between Arab and African countries. The two-day forum, which was attended by 40 companies from 15 African countries, witnessed over 200 business-to-business (B2B) meetings on building mutual relations and enhancing agri-food exports.

Organised under the umbrella of the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges Program (AATB) , the forum highlighted the potential that agri-foods has in promoting domestic productivity, in creating jobs in Arab and African countries; and facilitating mutual trade and investment. Highlighting on the importance of this event, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC said, “ITFC’s collaboration with Dubai Exports reflects our shared interest in driving economic development across the MENA region and beyond. Through this forum, the AATB has been able to provide a practical springboard for intra-regional trade and in doing so act as a catalyst for sustainable economic growth and skilled employment in both regions. With the OIC’s target to achieve 25% of intra-OIC trade share by 2025, our collaboration with Dubai Exports is especially well timed as we continue to work towards supporting private sector development and improved livelihoods in OIC member countries.”

From his side, Mohammed Ali Al Kamali, Deputy CEO of Dubai Exports, said the forum primarily sought to enhance relations between the private sector in Africa and the UAE so that they are well-positioned to take advantage of existing and emerging opportunities in both regions.

“A key element of the Dubai Exports strategy is to support and create platforms for buyers and suppliers to share information on new and emerging markets. Africa is an outstanding opportunity, as is evident from the high growth and rising demand being witnessed across countries in the continent. Growing consumption, connectivity and vast prospects for exports and investment makes it particularly competitive for Arab companies to build relations with Africa. The Agri-Food Forum had 40 leading agri-food companies from Africa representing the increasingly diverse tastes and preferences in the South, East, West and Central Africa,” Al Kamali said.

The companies that represented different African markets in the forum were chosen on the basis of the growth rate and income levels of individuals, products imported from other countries, export advantage of Arab countries, and the scale of potential opportunities and challenges in each market. Agri-food companies from Mauritania, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Benin, Gabon, Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Mozambique were among the participants in the forum.

ITFC, which is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), 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 SME’s and growing businesses to compete in the global market.

The forum was dedicated to B2B meetings thus enabling participants to engage face-to-face, sharing information and feedback on the demand and export modalities.  An open discussion on customs facilities, existing trade agreements and the nature of African markets was the highlight of the opening day. Each participant was given a detailed trade report on all countries represented in the forum.




About the International Islamic Trade and Finance Corporation (ITFC)

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. It was established with the purpose of advancing trade among OIC member countries, which would ultimately contribute to the overarching goal of improving socioeconomic conditions of the people across the world. Commenced operations in January 2008, ITFC has since consolidated all trade finance businesses that used to be handled by various windows within the IsDB Group. Earning the A1 rating by Moody’s reflects the Corporation’s efficiency in service delivery by responding swiftly to customer needs in a market-driven business environment.

Since 2008, ITFC has provided more than US$45 billion of trade financing to OIC Member Countries, making the Corporation the leading provider of trade solutions for OIC Member Countries’ needs. With a mission of being a catalyst for trade development among OIC Member Countries and beyond, the Corporation helps entities in Member Countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity building tools, which would enable them to successfully compete in the global market.


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