ICD has big plans for SMEs, says CEO

Updated 03 January 2016

ICD has big plans for SMEs, says CEO

JEDDAH: The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and OJSC Agroinvestbank of the Republic of Tajikistan have signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation to consider extension of a line of financing facility to OJSC Agroinvestbank as part of the country program allocation of $25 million for Tajikistan.
The line of financing facility will be extended by OJSC Agroinvestbank to the SMEs sector to project’s in industrial, communication, technology, health, construction and agricultural sectors.
Khaled Al-Aboodi, CEO and general manager of ICD, commented: “The small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have a crucial role to play in a country’s growth and development, and ICD has big plans for them. This is an important sector in all the member countries, including the higher income ones.”
The CEO said: “ICD is now focusing on this sector by extending lines of finance to local banks in addition to the establishment of ASR Leasing Company in Tajikistan (a company specialized to provide Shariah-compliant leasing products to the SME sector.”
ICD previously extended a total of $11.5 million line of financing facility for the development of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tajikistan which demonstrates ICD’s firm commitment to develop the private sector in its member countries.
The chairman of OJSC Agroinvestbank commented: “The close and mutual fruitful cooperation between Agroinvestbank and ICD positively affects the development of the economy of the Republic of Tajikistan through financing SMEs in key sectors such as agricultural, industry, construction and etc.”
The chairman added: “The Islamic banking products have a huge potential to meet the increasing demand for long-term financing of SMEs in Tajikistan.”
In this regard, the signing of current MoU is a step toward strengthening and deepening our further collaboration in context of development of the economy of Tajikistan and enabling SMEs access to finance.
The mandate of ICD is to support economic development and promote the development of the private sector in its member countries through providing financing facilities and/or investments which are in accordance with the principles of Shariah.
The bank was established in 1992 and the name of the bank has changed in 2002, making it in accordance with the requirements of the new civil code of the Republic Tajikistan Nowadays OJSC “Agroinvestbank” is one of the systematically important banks in Tajikistan and has considerable infrastructural capabilities.
In every large cities and virtually in all regional centers, they operate 61 branches, 60 banking service centers and 152 remittance offices of the Bank. Throughout the whole system of the bank — 32 thousand legal entities (enterprises, organizations, companies and private entrepreneurs) are serviced and the number of individuals who have accounts in the bank consists of 276 thousand people.


Japan’s Uniqlo pulls ad after South Korean fury

Updated 21 October 2019

Japan’s Uniqlo pulls ad after South Korean fury

  • South Korean and Japanese relationship is deeply strained by the legacy of Tokyo’s 20th-century expansionism
  • Seoul and Tokyo are currently locked in a bitter trade and diplomatic row stemming from historical disputes
SEOUL: Japanese retail giant Uniqlo has pulled a commercial featuring a 98-year-old US fashion figure from South Korean screens, it said Monday after it was accused of whitewashing colonial history.
South Korea and Japan are both US allies, democracies and market economies faced with an overbearing China and nuclear-armed North Korea, but their relationship is deeply strained by the legacy of Tokyo’s 20th-century expansionism.
The latest example is an advert for Uniqlo fleeces showing elderly fashion celebrity Iris Apfel chatting with designer Kheris Rogers, 85 years her junior.
The last line has the white-haired Apfel, asked how she used to dress as a teenager, innocuously responding: “Oh my God. I can’t remember that far back.”
But Uniqlo’s Korean arm subtitled its version of the ad slightly differently, reading: “I can’t remember things that happened more than 80 years ago.”
That would put the moment as 1939, toward the end of Japan’s brutal colonial rule over the Korean peninsula, where the period is still bitterly resented, and some South Koreans reacted furiously.
“A nation that forgets history has no future. We can’t forget what happened 80 years ago that Uniqlo made fun of,” commented one Internet user on Naver, the country’s largest portal.
The phrase “Uniqlo, comfort women,” in reference to women forced to become sex slaves to Japanese troops during the Second World War, was among the most searched terms on Naver at the weekend, and demonstrators protested outside Uniqlo shops on Monday.
Seoul and Tokyo are currently locked in a bitter trade and diplomatic row stemming from historical disputes, and South Korean consumers have mounted boycotts of Japanese products.
Uniqlo — which has 186 stores in South Korea — has itself been one of the highest-profile targets, while Japanese carmakers’ sales dropped nearly 60 percent year-on-year in September.
The company denied the allegations in a statement, saying the text was altered to highlight the age gap between the individuals and show that its fleeces were for people “across generations.”
“The ad had no intention whatsoever to imply anything” about colonial rule, a Uniqlo representative said on Monday, adding the firm had withdrawn the ad in an effort at damage control.
Analysts said the controversy demonstrated the politicization of the neighbors’ complex history.
The reaction was excessive, said Kim Sung-han, a former foreign affairs vice minister who teaches at Korea University, involving a “jump in logic” that “assumes everything Uniqlo does is political as a Japanese company.”
“I don’t see how her remark could be linked to the comfort women issue,” he added. “This is overly sensitive.”