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Islamic Development Bank Group to respond to COVID-19 with USD 2.3 Billion package and to launch three supportive and robust initiatives in partnership with UAE Ministry of Economy and AIM

A crowd of over 1000+ engaged participants comprising of exceptional entities, seasonal practitioners, Government officials, individual investors, business associations, entrepreneurs, Multilateral and financial institutions, Chairmen, Presidents & CEOs of local/international companies, Chambers of Commerce & Industry and Investment promotion agencies, came together to celebrate in the IsDB Group (https://www.IsDB.org/) Private Sector Action Response to COVID-19 webinar and launching new online initiatives by Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB Group ) Private Sector Entities in partnership with UAE Ministry of Economy and AIM. The webinar was inaugurated by H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar, President of Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB Group), H.E. Mrs. Nevin Gamea, Minister of Trade and Industry of Egypt, and H.E. Mr. Abdullah Ahmed Saleh, Undersecretary of UAE Ministry of Economy.

The main objective of the webinar was to discuss the challenges facing the Private Sector and Global Economy during the COVID-19 outbreak. The IsDB Group Private Sector entities also presented immediate joint action response and the future outlook to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst incorporating the new reality. The webinar highlighted the IsDB Group's US$2.3 billion Strategic Preparedness and Response Programme for COVID-19 under its 3Rs approach "Respond, Restore and Restart".

A prime goal behind the initiative is to promote and provide a robust platform for the investment and prosperous trade opportunities in Member Countries. Estimated numbers of FDIs attractions in member countries show the annual FDI Inflows and Outflows in 2019 that help to assess imminent prospects and growth opportunities.

During the highly enriching webinar, 3 online initiatives were launched by IsDB Group Private Sector Entities in partnership with UAE Ministry of Economy and AIM. The motive behind these unique initiatives was to help the OIC Member Countries' economy and support the private sector, trade, exports and FDI in Member Countries. The three resilient initiatives that aspired to aid keen entities avail supreme benefits were:

Digital Country Presentations: To promote and showcase the forthcoming investment and trade opportunities in OIC Member Countries that will provide a global gateway for investors, government agencies, private institutions and Investment Promotion Agencies. This was accomplished through a virtual gathering medium.

Made In Series: An excellent opportunity presented for SMEs to showcase their local products, projects and services to a pool of international audiences.

Startups Pitch Competition: An opportunity for the startups to participate in a local pitch competition, enabling the winners to present their countries in the international startups platform and secure a robust development of their entities.

H.E. Bandar Hajjar, President of Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB Group) stated "The IsDB Group is tirelessly working to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on the economies and people of our member countries. The IsDB Group's response package consists of US$ 2.3 billion, which includes US$ 700 million from our private sector entities (ICIEC, ICD and ITFC). We aim to mobilize every dollar we can. The collaboration between the IsDB Group private sector entities and UAE Ministry of Economy and AIM through the online initiatives will significantly increase the Foreign Direct Investment inflows into our member countries which will definitely help in achieving the SDGs".

Honorable keynote speakers such as Mr. Oussama Kaissi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC); Mr. Ayman Sejiny, the CEO & General Manager of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, the Chief Executive Officer of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, B20 Sherpa and Ms. Cornelia Meyer, the Chairman & CEO of Meyer Resources united to impart a plethora of knowledge and industry insights about emerging trends.

Mr. Oussama Kaissi, the Chief Executive Officer of The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) and one of the keynote speakers in the webinar, stated: "The effects of the coronavirus pandemic on trade and SMEs is of particular concern to ICIEC. Harsh conditions for global trade are exacerbated by the tightening of the export credit insurance market – leaving many member country businesses highly exposed. Now more than ever, international partners must come together in solidarity to support countries as they face this once in a generation crisis. It is essential for ICIEC to provide support in stabilizing the trade ecosystem while also planning for recovery across our 47 member countries. The Corporation is playing a critical role in recovery by addressing market gaps and targeting immediate needs for priority sectors such as pharmaceuticals, healthcare supplies and agricultural commodities".

"The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted most OIC member countries on the economic, financial, and social fronts, some more severe than others. In a bid to extend support, shore up demand, and protect people's jobs and livelihood, ICD has set up a dedicated US$ 250 million respond package to aid SMEs and the private sector in affected countries. The emergency funding would be mainly in the form of medium to long-term financing instruments to alleviate the economic burden faced by existing and new clients." stated Mr. Ayman Sejiny, the CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), and one of the keynote speakers in the webinar.

Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, the Chief Executive Officer of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and one of the keynote speakers in the webinar, stated: "ITFC is moving forward with its plans to continue supporting member countries in the recovery phase, including the provision of lines of financing to support the private sector and SMEs. In the recovery phase, ITFC will drive integrated trade solutions that will combine financing with capacity building and flagship programs to promote regional cooperation and enhance intra-OIC trade. It is with trade as the engine of economic growth, and close collaboration with partners, ITFC will focus on what makes the best impact on the livelihoods in the near-term and long-term and provide quality of life for the hundreds of millions of people most affected by the pandemic."

This initiative tied with Annual Investment Meeting will abet in an upsurge in Foreign Direct Investment growth whilst stimulating trade and investment opportunities in targeted countries. Affected OIC Member Countries' economies will be supported during this challenging period by seeking a pool of potential partners to finance trade and infrastructure projects that will lead to a rise in job creation and an increase in Gross Domestic Product. In addition, this will support the SMEs to thrive and improve the country's export.

Post the COVID-19 period, it will be evident that markets are recovering gradually. Consequently the IsDB Initiative will cater to supporting developing countries and economies at that time by generating business growth and co-financing investment and trade prospects in member countries. They also strive to invigorate the cross border investments.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB Group).

About Islamic Development Bank (IsDB):
The Islamic Development Bank (https://www.IsDB.org/) is a multilateral development bank (MDB), working to improve the lives of those we serve by promoting social and economic development in Member countries and Muslim communities worldwide, delivering impact at scale.

- We provide the infrastructure to enable people to lead better lives and achieve their full potential.
- We bring together 57 member countries across four continents - touching the lives of 1 in 5 of the world's population.
- We are one of the world's most active MDBs, and global leaders in Islamic Finance, with an AAA rating, and operating assets of more than USD 16 billion and subscribed capital of USD 70 billion.
- We are a truly global institution, headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with major hubs in Morocco, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Senegal, and gateway offices in Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nigeria.
- We foster collaboration between our members nations in a uniquely non-political environment, as we focus on the betterment of humanity.

About the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC):
Established 26 years ago in 1994 as a multilateral institution and member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, ICIEC (https://ICIEC.IsDB.org/) was tasked to promote cross-border trade and foreign direct investments (FDI) in its Member Countries. To fulfill its mandate, ICIEC provides risk mitigation solutions to Member Country exporters. By protecting them from commercial and political risks, exporters are enabled to sell their products and services across the world. The multilateral credit insurer also provides risk protection to investors from across the world that seeks to invest in ICIEC's Member Countries. To promote the sustainable economic development of its Member Countries, ICIEC – on a limited basis – can also support international exporters selling capital goods or strategic commodities to ICIEC's Member Countries. In addition to its core business, ICIEC also offers technical assistance to Member Countries' Export Credit Agencies. ICIEC's mission is to make trade and investment between Member Countries and the world more secure through the Shariah-compliant risk mitigation tool. Its vision is to be recognized as the preferred enabler of trade and investment for sustainable economic development in Member Countries. ICIEC is the only multilateral export credit and investment insurance corporation in the world that provides Shariah-compliant insurance and reinsurance solutions. Today, ICIEC supports trade and investment flows in 47 Member Countries spanning across Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa. Its target clients are corporates (both exporters and investors), banks and financial institutions as well as Export Credit Agencies and insurers.

About the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD):
ICD (https://ICD-PS.org/) is a multilateral development organization and a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. The mandate of ICD is to support economic development and promote the development of the private sector in its 55-member countries through providing financing facilities and/or investments in viable projects sponsored by eligible enterprises in accordance with the principles of Shari'ah. ICD also provides technical assistance and advisory services to member countries and their public and private enterprises with a view to improving the environment for private investment, facilitating the identification and promotion of investment opportunities, privatization of public enterprises and the development of the Islamic capital markets. ICD applies Fintech to make finance more efficient and inclusive. ICD set up a platform built and centered on ICD relationship with 119 Financial Institutions. Through them, the IsDB Group in general and ICD in particular leverage access to the country and avail financing opportunities. For more information about ICD, visit https://ICD-PS.org/.

About the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC):
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) (https://www.ITFC-IDB.org/) is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. It was established with the primary objective of advancing trade among OIC Member Countries, which would ultimately contribute to the overarching goal of improving socioeconomic conditions of the people across the world. Commencing operations in January 2008, ITFC has provided more than US$51 billion to OIC Member Countries, making it the leading provider of trade solutions for the Member Countries' needs. With a mission to become a catalyst for trade development for OIC Member Countries and beyond, the Corporation helps entities in Member Countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity building tools, which would enable them to successfully compete in the global market.

About the Islamic Development Bank Group Business Forum (THIQAH):
The Islamic Development Bank Group Business Forum (THIQAH) (https://www.IDBGBF.org/) is the window of IsDB Group that facilitate contact and coordination between entities concerned of the IsDB Group and private sector firms and related institutions in IsDB Group member countries. The main objective of THIQAH is to establish a unique and innovative platform for dialogue, cooperation and inclusive partnership for business leaders committed to partnering in promising investment opportunities. THIQAH's vision is to position itself as the leading business platform of the IsDB Group serving the private sector and maximizing the achievements of successful investment projects. Through facilitation and catalyst roles, THIQAH will be leveraging IsDB Group's resources to offer necessary services and confidence to investors and to establish strategic partnerships with the leaders of the private sector in order to capitalize on their expertise and know-how on one hand, and to synergize with IsDB Group entities on the other. The primary focus will be on maximizing cross-border investment among member countries to be supported by IsDB Group's financial products and services. (https://www.IDBGBF.org/).

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