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RIYADH: The International Islamic Trade Finance Corp. signed several agreements with Uzbekistan worth $715 million at the Arab Coordination Group meeting that concluded in Tashkent on Tuesday.

ITFC, a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, has been actively supporting the government and local banks in Uzbekistan since 2018, said a press release. It said the financing is geared toward supporting the production of cotton and wheat, ensuring food security, and helping stabilize prices for essential commodities, as well as supporting the trade finance needs of private sector, small and medium enterprises.

ITFC has also pledged to extend support to local banks with technical assistance through new Integrated Trade Solutions in the coming years, the release said.

“The collaboration also encompasses the ‘Trade Connect Central Asia+’ program, a flagship initiative developed by ITFC. The TCCA+ targets the expansion and economic integration of trade and investment cooperation among six countries: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan,” it added.

ITFC CEO Hani Salem Sonbol said: “The agreements signed today strengthen our collaboration with Uzbekistan and are a testimony of our commitment to the socio-economic development in Uzbekistan and the Central Asia region at large.”

The first agreement worth $600 million aims to strengthen areas of cooperation between ITFC and Uzbekistan, focusing on trade finance, agricultural and food security financing for the public sector, support for state-owned enterprises, and financing for SMEs in sectors like pharmaceuticals, food and agriculture, textile, and manufacturing.

The second agreement is a US$100 million Murabaha financing deal that seeks to contribute to food security and agriculture in Uzbekistan.

Additionally, ITFC signed a line of trade financing agreement jointly with AgroBank and its subsidiary SmartBank, amounting to $15 million. This agreement will support SMEs and the private sector in Uzbekistan. The line of financing will provide Shariah-compliant trade finance solutions to the private sector and SME clients of AgroBank and its subsidiary SmartBank. This financing will be focusing on sectors like food and agriculture, manufacturing, and textile, and will aim to promote the financing of green projects.

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