Tuesday May 28, 2024

IBD assistance sought to improve trade in Muslim economies

By Mehtab Haider
December 06, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday sought financial and technical assistance from Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to establish an export-import bank to improve trade among Muslim economies.

Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar said the government requested the bank to set up an Exim bank in Pakistan, which would help improve foreign trade in the Islamic world.

“The proposal is under consideration,” he said, addressing a one-day seminar at the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) in Jeddah.

International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation is an autonomous body under the Islamic Development Bank that aims to promote trade to improve the economic condition of the people of Muslim countries. ITFC helps businesses and governments in the member countries with its expertise and funds to promote business finance as per the shariah law.

Azhar said ITFC has provided financing facility to Pakistan to cover its oil and liquefied natural gas imports over a period of three years. Since its inception, IDB has approved $12.43 billion in financing to Pakistan, he said.

The minister appreciated the efforts of ITFC in bringing change in people’s lives through promotion of trade amongst Muslim countries.

The economic minister told the seminar’s participants that international trade helps in achieving sustainable development goals and positively impacts people’s lives.

“There is a need to increase trade amongst the Muslim countries to achieve the objectives of sustainable development and bring positive change and improve the lives of common man,” he was quoted as saying in a statement.

Economic affairs minister asked ITFC to develop training tools in Islamic banking as Islamic banking is very popular in the country.

The minister said forty percent of Pakistan’s economy is based on small and medium enterprises and “we are building an export oriented economy”. “There is a need to focus on trade in our nearby region and amongst the Muslim countries and explore the opportunities.”

The minister said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor offers immense investment opportunities to all countries.

Azhar said Pakistan is one of the founding members of Islamic Development Bank. “We highly appreciate IDB for its generous support in Pakistan’s development,” he added. “Pakistan is the third largest beneficiary of the IDB financing.”

The minister commended Islamic Development Bank’s assistance in health and education sectors in Pakistan, especially in the polio eradication project.

The minister also interacted with economists and financial advisers and chief executive officers of banks from different Muslim countries and discussed matters relating to development of bilateral trade and investment.