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ITFC, AWB sign agreement to develop Arab-African trade

Hani Salem Sonbol, left, and Mohamed El Kettani.
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, and Attijariwafa Bank Group (AWB) signed an agreement to support trade between Arab and African countries. The agreement was signed by Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC, and Mohamed El Kettani, chairman and CEO of AWB Group, the fifth International African Development Forum in Casablanca, Morocco.
Under the agreement, ITFC will provide Shariah-compliant financing to the subsidiaries of Attijariwafa Bank; and ITFC, AWB, and AWB subsidiaries will co-finance companies looking to import goods from Arab countries.
Sonbol said: “This signing is part of the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program, where we aim to cooperate together and provide financial products that serve the needs of our member countries.”
He said the first phase focuses on three Sub-Sahara countries: Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal.
“We are working to implement new trade finance solutions with the purpose to gradually expand the implementation of the solutions developed to other markets in the Africa sub-region,” Sonbol added.
El Kettani said: “ITFC and AWB are bound to foster a resilient and long-lasting relationship in Africa and the Arab world. We share the same vision as far as levers of economic growth are concerned ... The agreement we signed today is a strong milestone in our joint cooperation targeting trade between African and Arab countries.”
The signing comes previous collaborations between the two organizations. In February 2016, at the fourth International Africa Development Forum, both ITFC and AWB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by which the two organizations agreed to set up a strategic partnership to cooperate in several areas related to their respective mandates particularly in trade finance operations.
ITFC is a sponsor of the fifth International Africa Development Forum, where the theme of this year’s forum is: “New Inclusive Growth Models in Africa.”

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