Sat Nov 18 2017, 18:44:15 +03

Madinah Chamber, IDB sign deal to back dates sector

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(Madina-AlummahWorld-Ramadan27,1438H) Under the aegis of Prince Saud Bin Khalid Al-Faisal, Deputy Governor of Madinah Region, the Chairman of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group Dr. Bandar Bin Hajjar and the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Madinah Munir Mohammed Nasser Bin Saad signed a MoU for mutual cooperation and support in the Chamber’s role in promoting the commercial and economic environment in the Madinah region, and activating its participation in achieving the goals of the National Transition Program 2020 and the Vision 2030.

The signing ceremony was attended by the Chief Executive Officer of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) Hani Salem Sonbol and the Secretary-General of the Madinah Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mohammed Mahmoud Ramadan.

The MoU included the development of the dates sector in the Madinah region, which will be implemented under the supervision of ITFC, the trade-financing arm of the IDB Group, for two years in cooperation with the International Trade Center (ITC), the United Nations arm in support of the private sector. The project aims to address the obstacles faced by farmers and SMEs to ensure full utilization of the potential of the dates sector in Madinah to increase internal and external demand.

On this occasion, Dr. Bandar Hajjar thanked Prince Saud for honoring the signing ceremony of the MoU between the IDB Group and the Madinah Chamber to support the dates sector in Saudi Arabia, which is currently the world’s third-largest exporter of fresh and dried dates.

Dr. Bandar added, “The Kingdom, which annually produces about 1.2 million tons of dates, has great potential to increase its exports and explore new export markets. The impact and expected results of this project is to improve competitiveness and increase exports of the dates of Madinah, which will generate better returns for farmers and create more jobs.”

Dr. Bandar also noted that this pilot project was included under the Member Country Partnership Strategy (MCPS) with Saudi Arabia, which includes projects and activities in the field of trade development and the search for potential and sources of funding within the common objectives of both parties.

From his side, Munir expressed his gratitude on having the MoU signing under the aegis of Prince Saud and thanked Dr. Bandar on the efforts of the Islamic Development Bank in promoting the competitiveness of the dates sector in Madinah to reach global markets and ensure revenue for farmers and private sector institutions.

“This MoU represents a strategic shift in strengthening the national identity of the dates sector in Madinah.”

ITFC CEO Sonbol added that the ITFC supported the Chamber’s request to develop the dates sector, which is of great importance to Madinah and Saudi Arabia. “The MoU also includes the capacity building project in the field of international trade. This project provides effective training on the mechanisms and requirements of export to foreign markets, in various productive sectors in Madinah. This type of training and rehabilitation was designed by the Foreign Trade Training Center (FTTC) in Egypt to educate the productive sector on the importance of exports. The training courses for this program will then be launched under the supervision of ITFC.