ITFC provides first Islamic trade finance transaction in Uzbekista

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Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC and Umid A. Khakimov, first deputy chairman of the board, Asia Alliance Bank at the $100 million Framework Agreement signing event. — Courtesy photo

JEDDAH — The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, and Asia Alliance Bank, a joint-stock commercial bank in the Republic of Uzbekistan signed Wednesday a line of Murabaha Trade Financing Agreement.

This is the first operation of ITFC in Uzbekistan, and it marks the start of the implementation of $100 million Framework Agreement, signed between Uzbekistan and ITFC on the March 6, 2018.

“The purpose of the Framework Agreement is to find ways and means to ensure close cooperation and coordination of efforts between ITFC and the government of Uzbekistan, and to pave the way for a strategic partnership between the parties,” commented Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC.

The main area of cooperation indicated in the Framework Agreement is to provide Line of Financing to local banks in Uzbekistan to support the private sector, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises.

This operation, and future activities occurring with Uzbekistan, will help support import and pre-export financing needs of Private Sector as well as Public Sector in Uzbekistan, which will ultimately lead to Uzbekistan becoming a member in ITFC.

On his part, Umid A. Khakimov, first deputy chairman of the board, Asia Alliance Bank, said “This agreement, will support Asia Alliance Bank to play a pivotal role in the development of Islamic trade financing in Uzbekistan. It will be the first Islamic trade finance transaction for a bank in Uzbekistan.”

Prior to signing this agreement, the first Trade Finance workshop titled “Trade Finance as a Key Factor in Trade Promotion” took place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, organized by ITFC in cooperation with the Ministry for Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan & United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Uzbekistan.

The workshop introduced new working practices and technologies to help Uzbekistan accelerate its trade and economic development — particularly in relation to other IDB member countries. ITFC invited the International Trade Centre based in Geneva/Switzerland and Turk Eximbank to share their experience in the field with Uzbek participants. - SG


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