AfTIAS program focuses on boosting Djibouti, Algeria economies

Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of the ITFC, right, and Arancha Gonzalez, executive director of ITC at the signing ceremony held at the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) headquarters in Jeddah on Monday. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 02 May 2017

AfTIAS program focuses on boosting Djibouti, Algeria economies

JEDDAH: The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and the International Trade Center (ITC) signed an agreement to develop two new projects in Djibouti and Algeria under the Aid for Trade Initiative for the Arab States (AfTIAS) program.
The signing ceremony was held during the visit of Archana Gonzalez, executive director of the ITC, to the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) headquarters in Jeddah where she met Bandar M.H. Hajjar, IDB president and ITFC CEO Hani Salem Sonbol.
“This agreement is an amendment of our ongoing relationship to include two more projects that were not initially covered…” Gonzalez told Arab News.
She said that ITC and ITFC wanted to work closely with the IDB to help it utilize its true potential.
The project seeks to promote Djibouti’s handicrafts by linking it to the tourism sector.
This project will lead to the diversification of the sources of income and will help consolidate the craft sector by providing appropriate tools, a regulatory framework and the required infrastructure.
Sonbol said that the establishment of Djibouti Handicrafts Export Village would assist the government to promote local handicrafts and generate a new strategic focus for tourism.
He said that the ITC and the ITFC sought the promotion of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and their integration into global and regional economies.
The ITFC chief lamented the “underrepresentation” of the SMEs in the economy despite the key role these enterprises could play in the generation of jobs for the youth and the womenfolk of any country.
The project concerning Algeria aims to support the economic diversification of the country.
It focuses on providing Algeria with the technical assistance to design and implement a National Trade Strategy (NTS).
Gonzalez said: “The ultimate goal of this project is to support Algeria’s economy and exporters with a view to boosting competitiveness, support export diversification as well as employment creation and promote sustainable and inclusive economic development.”
The project will result in Algeria having, for the first-time ever, an NTS developed and validated by key stakeholders and key institutions.
The project will eventually contribute to the diversification of Algeria’s economy reducing its vulnerability to commodity market shocks, by benefiting from trading opportunities and improved competitiveness in priority sectors.
Since its establishment in 2013, the Aid for Trade Initiative for the Arab States (AfTIAS) program has strived to help boost trade in the Arab world, which still has the lowest level of intra-regional trade in the world despite suitable market conditions.


Saudi companies display latest technologies at Dubai Airshow

Updated 17 November 2019

Saudi companies display latest technologies at Dubai Airshow

DUBAI: Over 25 Saudi companies and government institutions are taking part in the Dubai Airshow hoping to snag deals for their latest defense and aviation technologies being showcased at the biennial event.

The Middle East’s biggest aviation gathering opened on Sunday sans major announcements for big-ticket aircraft purchases from Gulf flagship carriers, maybe also due to dozens of deals already been previously signed and the planes just waiting to be delivered.

Among the major Saudi companies in the event include the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), fully owned by the Public Investment Fund, which has operations from aeronautics, land systems, naval systems, weapons and missiles and defense electronics.

SAMI aims to become among the top 25 companies globally by 2030 and to localize military spending, in line with the Kingdom’s vision.

Among other notable Saudi companies and institutions with a presence at the airshow are Saudi Airlines, flynas, The General Authority of Civil Aviation and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.

Meanwhile, Saudi INTRA Defense Technologies signed a Memorandum of Agreement with multinational defense company Hensoldt for the co-development and co-production of advanced electro-optic systems, as well as a joint venture agreement with EM&E for the transfer of technology and localization of the precision mechanical industries in the Kingdom.

ESEN Saudi, a hi-tech defense and aerospace engineering and production company, was also launched at the Dubai Airshow’s opening day.

Middle East Propulsion Company, which specializes in maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) for the Middle East, was also one of the Saudi companies on site. The company, which boasts of a workforce comprised of Saudi nationals of about 80 percent, aims to expand their services across the GCC and wider Middle East region.

Al-Salam Aerospace Industries meanwhile has on display latest advancements in the manufacture of key components for the F-15 fighter jet.