Jeddah, Saudi Arabia — As a strategic step towards the development of the small-to-medium-sized enterprises (or “SMEs”) in Saudi Arabia, the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, and Catalyst Group inked an Engagement Agreement to commence ITFC’s KSA SME Program to boost the SME Trade development. Through this partnership, ITFC will be piloting a SME Trade Development Program (TDP) in Saudi Arabia in an effort to scale it to other countries in the future. The agreement was signed by Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of ITFC and Mr. Nazih Al-Naser, CEO Catalyst Group in ITFC’s Headquarter in Jeddah on the 14th of December 2016.
This agreement comes in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 SMEs Trade Development Program which targets export capacity and assistance to achieve Saudi Vision 2030’s overalltarget. ITFC’s KSA SMEs Program is a unique proposition to boost SMEs trade potential by removing barriers to trade amongst other goals and objectives. TDPwill help SMEs gain access to finance, provide capacity building by enhancing knowledge, create awareness and increase SMEs network to an effort to expand export capacity. TDP will also provide advisory services to governments and institutions to further develop the export sector and facilitate trade finance.
On this occasion, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol stated, “The SMEs sector is the engine spuring economic growth and sustainable development in any country. This ambitious partnership will open the doors to SMEs in Saudi Arabia to gain access to finance, and marks a major milestone for Saudi Vision 2030.”
Mr. Nazih Al-Naser commented optimistically about Catalyst Group’s partnership with ITFC adding, “SMEs represent an driving force in the economy of Saudi Arabia and constitute around 90% of total business enterprises in the country and will be a significant contributor to the overall objectives of Saudi Vision 2030. This agreement provides us an opportunity to support SMEs while supporting Saudi Vision 2030.”
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation is an autonomous entity within the Islamic Development Bank Group. It was created with the purpose of advancing trade, which would ultimately contribute to the overarching goal of improving socioeconomic condition of the people across the Islamic world. ITFC has since consolidated all the trade finance businesses that used to be handled by various windows within IDB Group. It commenced operations in Muharram 1429H (January 2008G). The consolidation of IDB Group’s trade finance activities under a single umbrella enhanced the Corporation’s efficiency in service delivery by responding swiftly to customer needs in a market-driven business environment.
As a leader in Sharia-compliant trade finance, ITFC deploys its expertise and funds to businesses and governments in its Member Countries. Its primary focus is to encourage more intra-trade among OIC Member Countries. As a member of IDB Group, ITFC has unique access to Member Countries’ governments and it works as a facilitator to mobilize private and public resources towards achieving its objectives of fostering economic development through trade. The Corporation helps entities in Member Countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity building tools in order to help them compete successfully in the global market.
About Catalyst Group
Catalyst Group was established in 2009 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, member of the Islamic Development Bank Group. The company is a leading provider of technical advisory services for Islamic Financial Institutions, Real Estate Development Services and small-to-medium sized enterprises.
For more information visit www.catalsytgroup360.com
© Press Release 2016