The Meeting was attended by high-profile officials from both the ITFC and the Egyptian Export Development Authority (EDA), in addition to numerous representatives from the regional and international development agencies including United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and African Association of Essential Drugs National Purchasing Centres (ACAME).
The event witnessed the participation of 35 African and 45 Arab pharmaceutical companies operating in the field of drugs manufacturing and distribution, representing a 50% increase in the stakeholders’ participation from the first meeting held in 2017.
The opening ceremony witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support cooperation in trade development and promotion, between the Egyptian Export Development Authority, represented by Dr. Shirin Al-Shorbagi Chairperson of the EDA, and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, represented by its CEO, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol.
The MoU aims to develop a general framework for cooperation and coordination between the two sides at the bilateral and regional levels concerning trade promotion and building capacities in the field of international trade.
The potential cooperation entails the planning and execution of technical assistance (TA) programs for the EDA within the framework of the knowledge transfer program and capacity development programs for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in addition to launching trade development initiatives to enhance the Egyptian sectors’ access to both local and member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
“We perceive the MoU as a step in the right direction towards enhancing Egypt’s economic, commercial and industrial status, which shall act as a catalyst to promoting positive impact on the flow of trade and business transactions and supporting SMEs in the coming stage”, said Dr. Shirin Al-Shorbagi, Chairperson of the EDA.
Al-Shorbagi added that this Memorandum reflects the confidence of the international financing institutions (IFIs) in the Egyptian Economic Reform program.
“The MoU aims at intensifying close cooperation and the harmonization of development efforts between Egypt and the ITFC, in addition to granting the necessary support to SMEs in the trade sector, which is the dimension that puts the two parties’ strategic partnership into force”, said Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of the ITFC.
Sonbol stressed that a partnership between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation is of paramount importance and he praised the active role played by Egypt in supporting trade relations among the OIC member countries. He concluded by stating that this MoU demonstrates the OIC’s commitment to supporting its member countries, especially Egypt, through financing and promoting trade with the purposes of supporting youth and SMEs.
It is worth noting that the ITFC has so far concluded five framework agreements with the Government of Egypt, represented by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation, with a total amount of US $ 9.2 billion. The ITFC also supports Egypt through its trade programs, including the Aid for Trade Initiative for the Arab States (AfTIAS) Program and the Arab-Africa Trade Bridge Program (AATB).
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