Jeddah - SPA
AfTIAS Board of Directors Holds Meeting, in 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

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

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