League of Arab States and ITFC announce cooperation towards intra-Arab trade

intra 11The League of Arab States (Economic Affairs Sector) and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, have signed a MoU towards accelerating cooperation in the development of intra-Arab trade

Signed during the ministerial meeting of the Economic and Social Council of the League of Arab States (LAS) and ITFC in Cairo, Egypt, the MoU aims to enhance trade capacities and improve structures and mechanisms of trade cooperation among Arab countries.

As part of the agreement, LAS and ITFC have solidified their commitment to jointly coordinate the design, financing and implementation of technical assistance and capacity building programs as well as tackling issues related to the development of intra-Arab trade.

The MoU will also enable both parties to achieve their objectives of enhancing trade capacities among Arab countries as outlined in the 10-year work programme adopted by the Islamic Summit Held in Makkah, as well as the Arab summit (the Jerusalem summit - Dhahran).

Ambassador Kamal Hassan Ali, assistant secretary-general for Economic Affairs at the League of Arab States, commented, “The signing of this MoU will establish a legal basis for the cooperation between the League of Arab States and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation. It will open up new prospects of collaboration which will certainly be reflected on the completion of the requirements of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area and therefore the Arab Customs Union.”

“Particularly, a decision has been communicated to the Economic and Social Council, at its current session, to further develop the Greater Arab Free Trade Area and conform with the World Trade Organization, as well as to similar regional agreements, which will positively affect the positioning of the intra-Arab trade,” Ali added.

Initial programmes agreed under the MoU, such as the Arab Africa Trade Bridges Programme and the second phase of the Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States (AfTIAS) Programme have been earmarked for rollout in a bid to meet set objectives towards strengthening cooperation between the two parties.

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