The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) (www.ITFC-IDB.org), a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, has signed a framework agreement with the Government of Tunisia, represented by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. and Investment Support, to increase trade flows and develop trade capacity within the Republic. The US $ 1.5 billion deal aims to help Tunisian state-owned companies finance the import of commodities such as energy and industrial products, among others, as well as access business development programs to boost exports and promote interregional trade with other Arab and African countries.
According to the agreement, signed by Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of ITFC and HE Ali Kooli, Minister of Economy, Finance and Investment Support, ITFC will contribute to mobilizing financial resources from international and regional banks and financial institutions. Furthermore, the agreement will give way to further cooperation between the two sides in the areas of business development. Tunisian SOEs will have access to ITFC’s integrated business solutions and benefit from regional trade platforms such as the Aid for Trade Initiative for the Arab States (AfTIAS) and the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) programs, which promote trade and investment. Flows between Arab and African countries by improving business competitiveness, reducing trade costs and enhancing technological capabilities. These companies will also benefit from ITFC’s LC confirmation / ICR issuance products to secure export-related transactions.
In addition, a grant agreement was signed for a total of US $ 15,000, to cover the cost of subscriptions to virtual educational and training platforms that provide education and certification training for the benefit of the National Center for Technologies in Education as part of its Program of Distance Education in Luz. of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Referring to the agreement, Tunisian Minister of Economy, Finance and Investment Support HE Ali Kooli praised the successful partnership and cooperation between Tunisia and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, considering the support it provides for the benefit of many national institutions and plays in strategic sectors, to help them ensure their raw material needs. He also emphasized that the Tunisian government is interested in further improving this cooperation and benefiting from the various programs and mechanisms of the financial institution.
Reiterating ITFC’s commitment to supporting its member countries, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, ITFC CEO, said: “The continued support of ITFC’s financial and commercial development in Tunisia is part of our efforts to diversify the local economy and boost recovering from the impact of COVID-19. It is essential that Tunisian import and export companies continue to trade with their Arab and African counterparts. The agreement will facilitate access to ITFC’s integrated business solutions and key trade-related platforms such as AfTIAS and AATB, which focus on value-added sectors, promote a skilled workforce, and drive knowledge and technology transfer between companies. local business enterprises “.
It is worth mentioning that ITFC had provided around US $ 1.5 billion during the last three years under the last framework agreement signed in 2018 to boost and diversify the Tunisian economy in the agricultural, energy, industrial and pharmaceutical sectors. Recipients of ITFC funding to date include Société Tunisienne de l’Electricité et du Gaz (STEG) Groupe Chimique Tunisien, the Tunisian Refining Industries Company (STIR) and El Fouladh, the Tunisian steel company.