AfTIAS program focuses on boosting Djibouti, Algeria economies

Author: AISHA FAREEDWed, 2017-05-03 03:00ID: 1493754807584023800JEDDAH: The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and the International Trade Center (ITC) signed an agreement to develop two new projects in Djibouti and Algeria under the Aid for Trade Initiative for the Arab States (AfTIAS) program.The signing ceremony was held during the visit of Archana Gonzalez, executive director of the ITC, to the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) headquarters in Jeddah where she met Bandar M.H. Hajjar, IDB president and ITFC CEO Hani Salem Sonbol.“This agreement is an amendment of our ongoing relationship to include two more projects that were not initially covered…” Gonzalez told Arab News.She said that ITC and ITFC wanted to work closely with the IDB to help it utilize its true potential. The project seeks to promote Djibouti’s handicrafts by linking it to the tourism sector. This project will lead to the diversification of the sources of income and will help consolidate the craft sector by providing appropriate tools, a regulatory framework and the required infrastructure. Sonbol said that the establishment of Djibouti Handicrafts Export Village would assist the government to promote local handicrafts and generate a new strategic focus for tourism.He said that the ITC and the ITFC sought the promotion of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and their integration into global and regional economies. The ITFC chief lamented the “underrepresentation” of the SMEs in the economy despite the key role these enterprises could play in the generation of jobs for the youth and the womenfolk of any country.The project concerning Algeria aims to support the economic diversification of the country. It focuses on providing Algeria with the technical assistance to design and implement a National Trade Strategy (NTS).Gonzalez said: “The ultimate goal of this project is to support Algeria’s economy and exporters with a view to boosting competitiveness, support export diversification as well as employment creation and promote sustainable and inclusive economic development.”The project will result in Algeria having, for the first-time ever, an NTS developed and validated by key stakeholders and key institutions. The project will eventually contribute to the diversification of Algeria’s economy reducing its vulnerability to commodity market shocks, by benefiting from trading opportunities and improved competitiveness in priority sectors.Since its establishment in 2013, the Aid for Trade Initiative for the Arab States (AfTIAS) program has strived to help boost trade in the Arab world, which still has the lowest level of intra-regional trade in the world despite suitable market conditions.
Main category: Business & Economy

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