By Prosper Makene
The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group organized an event on “Promoting Connectivity for Sustainable Development”, on the sidelines of WTO’s Aid for Trade Global Review 2017 in Geneva.
The event was chaired by Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), on behalf of the Chairman IsDB Group, in addition to the special presence of Mrs. Aja Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang, Vice President, The Gambia, who had delivered the keynote speech.
The event provided an in-depth analysis of the IsDB Group strategic objectives in financing infrastructure investment for enhancing connectivity, regional integration and trade development.
During the event, the IsDB Group launched its Report on “Promoting Connectivity for Sustainable Development” which highlights IsDB Group support for development of productive capacities in member countries and its assistance to overcome supply side constraints. The Report also highlights main achievements of Aid for Trade activities in member countries.
The event was also an opportunity to bring together experts and partners to share experiences and exchange ideas on ways to overcome the key obstacles that hinder the growth and connectivity among member countries.
Mr. Saleh bin Eid Al-Hussaini, Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the WTO, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Mr. Amr Ramadan, Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the WTO, Egypt, were the key speakers in the opening session.
In addition to presentations from Mr. Torbjörn Fredriksson, Chief, ICT Analysis, Technology and Logistics, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Mr. Nicolas Gresser, Director of Regulatory Affairs, Etisalat Group, Mr. Syed Habib Ahmed, Advisor to the CEO ITFC, Mr. Ahmed Al Qabany, Senior Transport and Urban Development Specialist, Islamic Development Bank and Elmostafa AitAmor, Senior Cooperation Specialist at IDB.
Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC stated that, “The IsDB Group adopted a 10-year Strategy (2016-2025) of which one of its objectives is “Connectivity for Growth”. The objective of Connectivity for Growth stems from IsDB Group’s mandate in promoting cooperation among its member countries in various forms, both in terms of private sector and public-sector cooperation to enhance trade, investment, knowledge, and capacity development.”
He also commended the efforts exerted by Director General (DG), World Trade Organization (WTO) and Secretary General (SG), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for their remarkable support and leadership in pursuing the objectives of the Aid for Trade Initiative; “I believe that trade is not only an engine of development but it is the cornerstone of future prosperity and livelihood across our member countries.”
Mrs. Aja Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang, Vice President, The Gambia said, “I appreciate the renewed commitment of the IsDB Group for building capacities to address the barriers of trade, because promoting connectivity allows fruitful cooperation among key parties.”