IDB, ITC agree to work together on joint projects

Jeddah (IINA) � Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the International Trade Center (ITC) have agreed to work together to implement joint projects and strengthen the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in member countries.

This was announced during ITC Executive Director Arancha Gonzalez's recent visit to Jeddah to meet IDB President Bandar Hajjar, the IDB said on its website.

No institution can address development challenges by itself alone. Cooperation is very important. IDB is interested in promoting cooperation with other developmental institutions, Hajar said. Our approach is to transform from a development bank to a developer institution. Financing alone will not solve development challenges. We have to support the citizens of our member countries and teach them how to conduct business.

Two agreements were signed. The first, signed by Hajar and Gonzalez, includes initiating joint projects as well as implementing trade-related technical assistance.

The second agreement, signed by Hani Sonbol, CEO of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), and Gonzalez, is an amendment of a partnership accord for the implementation of two new development projects in Djibouti and Algeria under the Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States (ATIAS) program. The establishment of a Djibouti handicrafts export village will assist the government to promote local handicrafts and generate a new strategic focus for tourism, Sonbol said.

This project will lead to the diversification of the income sources and consolidate the craft sector by providing appropriate methodological tools and, finally, support craftsmen and women (to) develop their activity on sustainable success, he said. He said the National Trade Strategy (NTS) to support an economic diversification project in Algeria focuses on providing technical assistance and capacity-building to key stakeholders and institutions in Algeria to design and lead in the implementation of NTS. Gonzalez said that she visited IDB to take the collaboration to the next level, adding that the partnership between development institutions should help in fostering economic development for social impact.

She said the ITC has expertise in providing market intelligence, fostering a favorable policy and business environment, and working directly with SMEs to develop value chains. We can work together to synergize our projects and craft new ones, she said.

Source: International Islamic News Agency