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Arab News, Wed, May 15, 2024 | Dhu al-Qadah 7, 1445

ITFC’s new initiative promises to boost economic and trade growth in Central Asia

Saudi Arabia: Economic and regional integration among the six Organization of Islamic Cooperation member countries is set to grow with a new program from the International Islamic Trade Finance Corp. 

The Trade Connect Central Asia+ Program, also known as TCCA+, was launched recently by ITFC, a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, during the third Tashkent International Investment Forum. It is poised to enhance economic growth in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, as well as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan. 

The region, which boasts one of the world’s largest energy resources and significant production capacities in energy and agriculture, currently lacks the trade markets needed to harness its full potential, according to a press release.

In a statement at the launch, Hani Sonbol, CEO of ITFC, said: “We are immensely proud to launch the TCCA+ Program, which represents a significant step forward in enhancing economic cooperation and boosting trade across the Central Asia region and beyond.”  

He stated that this initiative is designed to unlock the vast economic potential of the region by facilitating increased regional trade and investment.  

“With a focus on the energy and agriculture sectors, we are committed to fostering sustainable economic growth and regional integration that benefits all member countries involved,” added Sonbol. 

Focused on boosting regional trade and expanding the export base toward higher value-added products, the TCCA+ Program is anticipated to foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth, alongside promoting regional economic integration among the six targeted countries, the release added.

This objective will be accomplished through the enhancement of export and investment capabilities, the reinforcement of competitiveness, and the facilitation of trade initiatives and regional value chains. 

For his part, Uzbekistan’s Minister of Investments, Industry and Trade Laziz Kudratov was quoted in the statement saying: “We are honoured to host the launch of this transformative economic initiative, following the development and progress made at last year’s Forum. We are united with ITFC in our shared goal to unlock the immense investment potential in Uzbekistan, and strongly support their efforts to drive economic prosperity across the wider region.”

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