Since 2005, the AfT initiative has taken off in most of the world’s developing regions, with a phenomenal increase in aid for trade flows, technical assistance and capacity support, as reported by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). But the Arab region (22 states) have remained largely on the sidelines. Nonetheless, these countries share the same challenges as many developing countries from other regions in the world.
To address this situation, the Qatar and Egypt Permanent Missions to the WTO, UN Office and Specialized Institutions in Geneva requested the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB Group) to develop an AfT Road Map for the Arab region.
In that respect, and since 2012, the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), on behalf the IsDB Group, has offered its full support to prepare and launch the Aid for Trade Initiative for the Arab States (AfTIAS) Program in the Arab Region. The design of the 1st Phase of this Program (AfTIAS 1.0 Program) was ensured by ITFC, in cooperation with five UN Agencies (ILO, ITC, UNCTAD, UNDP and UNIDO) in addition to the League of Arab States (LAS), the Permanent Missions of Arab Countries in Geneva, the Arab Regional Organizations as well as stakeholders from within and outside the region.