The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, signed a partnership agreement with the National Company of Transports and Logistics, SNTL, in the Kingdom of Morocco, under the umbrella of the Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States (AfTIAS), to launch a Study for the Development of Logistical Platforms for Trade & Investment Facilitation between Morocco and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The signing took place during the Opening Session of the OIC Trade Promotion Organizations (TPOs) Meeting, in Casablanca, Kingdom of Morocco on 11 October, 2017 between Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO, ITFC and Mr. Fouad Ktib, Deputy Director General of SNTL.
The opening session was inaugurated by Dr. Zahra, Maarefi, the Director General of Maroc-Export and key note speeches delivered by Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO, ITFC, and Dr. El Hassane Hzaine, the Director General of the Islamic Centre for Development of Trade (ICDT) and Mrs. Anne Chappaz, Chief, Trade and Investment Support Institutions, ITC.
On this occasion, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO, ITFC emphasized: “We aim at reducing the gap of physical infrastructure constraining Trade & Investment flows between Morocco and Sub-Saharan Africa. This signing is under the umbrella of the AfTIAS, but is also at the core mandate of the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program, which is created for bridging the trade gaps between the Arab and African countries”.
ITFC has identified the importance of developing trade hubs in Africa, therefore its involvement in this project will improve trade solutions in Morocco and some SSA countries by reducing logistical costs, and encouraging trade exchanges amongst them.
Both ITFC, and SNTL agree that trade and investment are among the key pillars of a new collaboration between Morocco and Sub-Saharan Governments.
In adherence to that, this plan will open doors, and create possibilities for investment in infrastructure, develop capacity building skills, and help create private businesses that offers many services to the public, such as, logistics services (transport, storage, cold storage, distribution, and stabilizing the value of agriculture goods). During the last decade 2004-2014, trade exchanges between Morocco and Sub-Saharan African Countries have been rising steadily.
“I am very positive of this agreement & partnership with SNTL, and expecting many encouraging outcomes of it, which will ease the trade routes between them, and flourish their economies” added Eng. Sonbol.