CAIRO, Egypt, January 13, 2021/APO Group/ —
Minister of Planning and Economic Development: The total financing of ITFC (www.ITFC-IDB.org) reached US$ 11.2 billion, in favor of Egypt until 2020; Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources: We appreciate ITFC’s keenness and continuous support to contribute to the vital role of the petroleum sector; Minister of Supply and Internal Trade: We commend ITFC’s role in helping to provide basic food commodities, which contributed to strengthening strategic reserves; Minister of International Cooperation: The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation’s programs in Egypt reinforce national development plans; Minister of Trade and Industry: The government is keen to strengthen cooperation with global and regional financial institutions aimed at financing various development projects in the country.
Dr. Hala ElSaid, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Governor of Egypt at the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, Eng. Tariq Al-Mulla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Dr. Ali Al-Moselhi, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Mrs. Nevin Gamea, Minister of Trade and Industry (via the video conference) witnessed the signing ceremony of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation’s (ITFC) Program for 2021 to provide integrated trade solutions to Egypt for an amount of US$1.1 billion. The Program was signed between Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO, ITFC, Mr. Ashraf Abd Allah, Deputy CEO, EGPC and Mr. Ahmed Youssif, Vice Chairman, GASC.
During her speech, Dr. Hala ElSaid said that the Program covers financing in addition to several programs aimed at facilitating trade, building capacities, providing institutional support, and enhancing the competitive capabilities of various sectors related to foreign trade. Examples include the Shetrades Program that promotes Women in Trade under the framework of the Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States (AfTIAS).
Dr. ElSaid added that the signing of the Program within the umbrella of the strategic partnership between the Egypt and ITFC comes in light of the framework agreement that concluded between both parties in 2018, through which ITFC provided US$3 billion in favor of Egypt for a period of five years to provide basic food commodities, crude oil products and petroleum products, strengthen internal value chains, accelerate the growth of SMEs, and develop trade.
Dr. ElSaid also stressed on the successful partnership and cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank (Group) and ITFC, where the latter’s aggregate portfolio in 2020 reached US$11.2 billion. ITFC was committed to meeting the country’s need for food supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic by approving US$ 282 million of financing for GASC.
Eng. Tariq Al-Mulla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, expressed his appreciation to ITFC for its keenness and continuous support of the country’s petroleum sector to meet the need for crude oil, petroleum products and butane, as well as its commitment to achieve targeted development and modernization within the sector. ITFC played a vital and effective role, especially in light of the spread of COVID-19, by providing financing support to EGPC to meet the needs of the Egyptian refineries for energy consumption in the local markets.
Dr. Al-Moslehi, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade, praised ITFC’s role in securing basic food commodities, which contributed to strengthening strategic reserves and is looking forward to continued collaboration between Egypt and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation.
Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, said that the programs provided by ITFC contribute to the enhancement of national development plans.
Mrs. Nevin Gamea, Minister of Trade and Industry, affirmed the government’s keenness to strengthen cooperation with global and regional financial institutions such as ITFC, aimed at financing various development projects currently being implemented in Egypt.
Mrs. Gamea reflected on the Trade Finance and Trade Development Programs implemented this year with ITFC, which include the implementation of a number of projects in coordination with the relevant ministries and Egyptian authorities in the areas of integrated trade solutions. In 2021, collaboration will continue with the aim of providing institutional support and capacity building programs. Special focus will be on the priority sectors that will be identified by the Egyptian government, pointing out the commitment towards implementing the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program, in cooperation with the Export Development Authority and a number of relevant agencies, which was launched by ITFC last December. This Program, in addition to AfTIAS, aims to enhance the capacity of existing exporters, create a generation of new exporters, and encourage the development of new export products in existing and promising new African markets.
In his statement, the CEO of the ITFC, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol said, “This latest financing holds special significance considering the calamities caused by COVID-19 on local trade ecosystem. Many businesses, including SMEs and exporters, have been badly affected. By securing the import of critical commodities, we can also focus on reviving trade. As part of this agreement, ITFC will support the Egyptian government to identify and grow key trade development areas including boosting its cotton sector value chain, driving female entrepreneurship, and boosting SME growth in general”.
What distinguishes the 2021 Program is its focus on integrated trade solutions, which aim to support the Egyptian entities through trade financing and development components. These projects and initiatives will provide institutional support and build their capacities focusing on the priority sectors to be identified by the Egyptian government.