The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC)
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is an autonomous entity within the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group created with the purpose of advancing trade to improve the economic condition and livelihood of people across the Islamic world. ITFC has consolidated all the trade finance businesses that used to be handled by various windows within the IDB Group. It commenced operations in Muharram 1429H (January 2008G). Its primary focus is to encourage intra-trade among Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Member Countries. The Corporation helps businesses 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.
Trade Cooperation and Promotion Program (TCPP) is the trade promotion and facilitation arm of ITFC. TCPP provides Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) to enhance trade and trade cooperation and regional economic integration among OIC Member Countries.
Since 2012, TCPP customizes its TRTA interventions under the theme of Aid for Trade: a comprehensive regional trade development program. With the aim of assisting member countries overcome supply side constraints, the Aid for Trade helps increase trade capacities in the member countries and enhance regional economic cooperation by implementing trade facilitation measures in and across the borders. ITFC works with regional and international trade development institutions in the designing and implementation of such programs, to address member countries’ trade development challenges in a more holistic and integrated manner. Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States (AfTIAS), Trade Knowledge Bridge Program, and Aid for Trade Initiative for SPECA are examples of such programs, which include various trade facilitation measures.
ITFC/TCPP’s work related to Trade Facilitation
- ITFC works with its international partners to assist its member countries to identify (and eliminate where possible) regulatory and procedural obstacles to trade and transport. In this regard, ITFC co-sponsors with international organizations and/or provides partial financial support to member countries to conduct Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) studies and Business Process Analysis (BPA).
- Within the framework of AfTIAS, ITFC works closely with its implementing partners to enhance customs capacity, improve border management, and support the use of electronic systems in custom clearance. Various capacity-building initiatives are under implementation, which are linked to broader projects to enhance joint customs gate management practices between Sudan and Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia as pilot projects.
- ITFC promotes and support knowledge sharing and cooperation across member countries in the area of trade and transport facilitation and assist the member countries to accede to relevant Trade & Transport Facilitation Agreements. To this end, ITFC organizes seminars, workshops and training programs in cooperation with international and regional organizations on the subjects of trade facilitation and regional integration. Furthermore, Arabic translation of the “Trade Facilitation Implementation Guide” is one of ITFC’s initiatives to support the development of institutional capacities of national trade facilitation authorities by making information available for Arabic speaking member countries.