The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, the Saudi Export and Import Bank (Saudi EXIM Bank), and the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monshaat) announced the signing of a Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch the KSA SME Development Program.
Present at the signing ceremony were H.E Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al Kassabi, Minister of Commerce, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises “Monshaat”, H.E Mr. Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi EXIM Bank and H.E Dr. Mansur Muhtar, Vice President, Country Programs of the Islamic Development Bank. The MoU was signed by Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of ITFC; Eng. Eng. Saad bin Abdulaziz Al-Khalb, CEO of Saudi EXIM Bank; and Eng. Saleh Al-Rasheed, Governor of Monshaat.
Supporting the objectives of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the MoU provides a framework for cooperation on the development and implementation of programs to support enterprises and SMEs in Saudi Arabia. The SME program will be designed to increase non-oil exports through trade finance facilities and capacity-building initiatives for enterprises participating in the Program. In addition, the Program will also look to increase the readiness of financial institutions to fund SMEs in the Kingdom.
H.E Eng. Saad Abdulaziz Al-Khalb, CEO Saud EXIM Bank, stated: “I am extremely pleased to sign the MoU with ITFC and Monshaat. The diversification of the alternative economy through exporting more Saudi non-oil products is a strategic objective of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. The MoU is completely aligned with Saudi EXIM Bank’s efforts to enhance cooperation with relevant government and private agencies in the Kingdom. By working closely with our partners to develop the SME program, the Bank will increase international finance and credit institutions’ support in diversifying financing products and innovate financial and credit solutions for SMEs.”
Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC commented: “ITFC places a high importance on meeting the SME Development Program objectives and we are therefore extremely pleased to sign the MoU with our distinguished partners, Saudi EXIM Bank and Monshaat. The Program, which is aligned with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, will offer significant support to SMEs, who represent enormous growth potential. As the Kingdom looks to increase SME contribution to 35% of GDP by 2030, supporting SMEs in trade finance and trade development will be essential to meeting this goal.”
The Governor of Monshaat, Eng. Saleh Al-Rasheed stated: “We are honoured to be partnering with the Saudi EXIM Bank and ITFC in supporting the development of the Saudi SME sector. The agreement framework will focus on building a growth environment for entrepreneurs and SMEs through the provision of supportive services and initiatives that aim to support and facilitate business practices, increase the adoption of technology and innovation, while improving access to finance.”