State Trading Organisation (STO) has signed a US$ 189 million trade financing facility with International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).
The trade financing facility was signed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ITFC Hani Salem Sonbol and the CEO of STO Hussain Amr with Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer in attendance. The financing is a renewal and increase of an existing Murabaha trade facility and will provide support for the procurement of petroleum products, staple food, medicine, and medical equipment to aid in the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also at the ceremony, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Chairman of Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company Limited (MIFCO) Amr and Sonbol to support MIFCO with the relevant trade-related technical assistance. The MoU is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of MIFCO and providing access to global markets.
Speaking at the ceremony, Sonbol said ITFC is extremely pleased to sign its largest syndicated trade finance agreement with STO to finance the import of strategic commodities to support the recovery of the economy from the pandemic. He also said the MoU with MIFCO is a major milestone given the fishing sector’s strategic importance to the economy. He added capacity building and technical assistance initiatives offered to MIFCO are expected to boost the fisheries sector’s competitiveness.
Also at the ceremony, Amr reiterated the successful long-standing partnership and cooperation between the Maldives and ITFC, considering the support it provides to the procurement of essential commodities. He also stressed that the MoU signed to support the capacity development of MIFCO was an important step, which will directly benefit the growth of the fisheries sector. He thanked ITFC for its continued support, highlighting that the renewal of the enhanced facility comes at a critical time as global commodity prices are at their highest due to the ongoing war in Russia-Ukraine. He said the facility will enable the Maldives to ensure energy, food, and medicine security in the country while supporting economic stability and growth in key sectors.
ITFC is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB). It was established with the primary objective of advancing trade among member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which contributes to the overarching goal of improving the socioeconomic conditions of the people across the world.