As a strategic step towards the development of the small-to-medium-sized enterprises (or “SMEs”) in Saudi Arabia, the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, and Catalyst Group inked an Engagement Agreement to commence ITFC’s KSA SME Program to boost the SME Trade development.
Through this partnership, ITFC will be piloting a SME Trade Development Program (TDP) in Saudi Arabia in an effort to scale it to other countries in the future. The agreement was signed by Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of ITFC and Mr. Nazih Al-Naser, CEO Catalyst Group in ITFC’s Headquarter in Jeddah on the 14th of December 2016.
This agreement comes in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 SMEs Trade Development Program which targets export capacity and assistance to achieve Saudi Vision 2030’s overall target. ITFC’s KSA SMEs Program is a unique proposition to boost SMEs trade potential by removing barriers to trade amongst other goals and objectives.
TDP will help SMEs gain access to finance, provide capacity building by enhancing knowledge, create awareness and increase SMEs network to an effort to expand export capacity. TDP will also provide advisory services to governments and institutions to further develop the export sector and facilitate trade finance.
On this occasion, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol stated, “The SMEs sector is the engine spuring economic growth and sustainable development in any country. This ambitious partnership will open the doors to SMEs in Saudi Arabia to gain access to finance, and marks a major milestone for Saudi Vision 2030.”
Mr. Nazih Al-Naser commented optimistically about Catalyst Group’s partnership with ITFC adding, “SMEs represent an driving force in the economy of Saudi Arabia and constitute around 90% of total business enterprises in the country and will be a significant contributor to the overall objectives of Saudi Vision 2030. This agreement provides us an opportunity to support SMEs while supporting Saudi Vision 2030.”