Jeddah, The board of directors of the Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States (AfTIAS) held here today a meeting at the headquarters of Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in Jeddah, in the presence of IsDB Vice President for Administrative Affairs Sayed Aqa and CEO of International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol.
At the outset of the meeting, the attendees watched a documentary highlighting AfTIAS's importance in enhancing economic integration among the Arab states and creating job opportunities.
Then, IsDB Vice President for Administrative Affairs Sayed Aqa delivered a speech in which he affirmed that the IsDB paid a great attention to funding and developing trade since decades due to its role in the development and as an incentive for investment, affirming that the bank provided all support for the ITFC to supervise implementation of the initiative program which is gained a great support of the Arab leaders during their participation in 3rd Arab Economic Summit held in Riyadh, 2013.
He added that the IsDB confirmed the importance of this initiative in promoting a size of trade exchange among the Arab states and supporting all relevant projects of the trade development issued by the Arab summits.
Sayed Aqa pointed out that the board of directors of the program approved 28 projects in 19 Arab countries, highlighting that these projects included priority fields and sectors for beneficiary countries through increasing the trade flow and reducing its cost by enhancing the border centers among Sudan, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
He added that the projects supported and enhanced the trade institutions in a number of Arab countries, the dates sector in Madinah and the woman's role in the international trade in addition to preparing and adopting the national export strategy in the Republic of Algeria and training and employment of young people for export in the Arab Republic of Egypt.
He affirmed that the IsDB seeks to support the initiative's program in response to the 4th Arab Economic Summit held in Lebanon two days ago, pointing out a big partnership with the regional and international partners in collaboration with ITFC in order to prepare the second phase of the program.
For his part, the ITFC CEO Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol affirmed the positive outcome of the program during the current period, adding that the program included various sectors and fields during five years. He highlighted challenges and difficulties facing the program
On the other hand, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), disclosed that the UNCTAD has a partnership with AfTIAS in 2013 with aim to promote trade within the Arab region by supporting the competitiveness of export institutions and access to foreign markets. He asserted that the UNCTAD and other UN agencies are ready to design and implement the second phase of the AfTIAS.
He added that unemployment, particularly among the young people, is one of the most important economic and social challenges facing policymakers in the region today, affirming that it would be necessary to strengthen initiatives creating job opportunities for the young people.
Source: Saudi Press Agency