DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, July 7, 2020/ — 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.