JEDDAH, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, March 23, 2020/ — The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, has been named ‘Best Islamic Financier’ by the trade finance platform, Trade Finance Global in cooperation with BAFT.
The international work carried out by banks, financial institutions and technology vendors to enable trade has never been more important, particularly in an age of rapid digitization, interconnected supply chains and increased competition.
The winners were selected by an independent steering committee of industry experts from around the world.
Commenting on the achievement, ITFC CEO, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, said: “ITFC is proud to have been recognized as the Best Islamic Financier. This prestigious accolade is a testament to the effectiveness of the Corporation’s strategic approach to advance trade and improve lives in all OIC member nations. The recognition also underscores the relevance and viability of ITFC’s unique blend of trade finance and trade development solutions that are designed to support the strategic sectors of member countries, thereby enabling them to improve their trading capacity”.
ITFC’s overarching goals are directly aligned with the UN SDGs aimed at creating greater inclusive prosperity in the developing world. A key component of the Corporation’s strategic focus is to work through partnerships with banks, financial institutions and key stakeholders who have long-term vested interest in the socio-economic development of Member Countries.
This allows ITFC to develop Integrated Trade Solutions with Trade Finance and Trade Development components to help remove barriers to trade while providing stronger access to the financing of new trading opportunities.
Mark Abrams, Director at Trade Finance Global and a member of the Awards Steering Panel said: “A core aim of TFG is to help companies access information and education around trade finance. It is important to highlight those leading the way in trade and receivables finance, whether that be from the perspective of financiers, insurers, logistics, law firms or tradetechs.”
“Continuous innovation is needed from within the trade industry, to support businesses around the world, as they navigate the changing landscape of trade finance in uncertain times. We are delighted to be cooperating with BAFT on this industry initiative.”
“At a time when companies face significant challenges fulfilling cross-border trade, it is critical that banks are able to demonstrate leadership in providing financing and innovative solutions that evolve with the changing needs of their clients,” said Tod Burwell, President & CEO, BAFT. “We congratulate the organizations being recognized for their leadership and commend TFG for showcasing these institutions.”
In 2019, ITFC approved US$ 2.1 billion of financing to Least Developed Member Countries, representing 36% of its total portfolio. Of this, US$ 565 million went towards the food and agriculture sector, including pre-export financing in key value chains, such as cotton and groundnuts and import of key commodities for the food security of member countries. ITFC’s financing has provided incomes and contributed to better livelihoods for over 480 000 farmers.
Around US$ 4.5 billion of financing was extended to support a sustainable supply of energy inputs in member countries, which provided an estimated 13 million people with access to electricity. Additionally, in 2019 ITFC strengthened its support to the private sector by channelling US$ 821 million of financing to private sectors and SMEs through 16 partner banks.