The Sierra Leone government, represented by its Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr. Kaifala Marah, and the ICD, represented by Khaled Al-Aboodi, CEO of ICD, are ready to cooperate in the development of a conceptual framework for the role of SEZs under the new development model of Sierra Leone. — Courtesy photo
JEDDAH — The Islamic Development Bank Group (IDBG), the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), a member of the IDBG, and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development of the Republic of Sierra Leone, signed on Thursday a memorandum of understanding (MoU). The MoU, which was signed on the sidelines of the 39th Annual Meetings, aims at launching and facilitating cooperation and coordination between the parties in the formulation, development, promotion and implementation of Special Economic Zones Initiatives (SEZs) in Sierra Leone through the use of relevant international practices and experiences.
The Sierra Leone government, represented by its Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr. Kaifala Marah, and the ICD, represented by Khaled Al-Aboodi, CEO of ICD, are ready to cooperate in the development of a conceptual framework for the role of SEZs under the new development model of Sierra Leone, an ICD statement said on Friday.
In addition, the parties seek to develop a clear roadmap for the SEZs that would help guide the prioritization of each SEZ project giving the expected implication on the economic, legal and institutional environment in Sierra Leone.
The parties agreed to meet, after the signing of the memorandum, to develop a detailed road map for the implementation of this cooperation framework.
Leasing agreement with Malaysia
The ICD) also signed with Pelaburan Mara Berhad (PMB) a Shareholders Agreement to venture into Shariah leasing business in Malaysia under newly-rebranded company, PMB Tijari Berhad or formerly known as KFH Ijarah House (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd on Thursday.
The agreement was signed by Al-Aboodi and PMB CEO, Nazim Rahman, at the conclusion of the Islamic Development Bank Group's Board of Governors Annual Meetings in Jeddah. Also present at the signing ceremony were the governors and ministers of the Islamic Development Bank Group.
Al-Aboodi said that Malaysia is a key partner of the ICD and that the ICD hopes to scale up the cooperation with the Malaysian government and the private sector. He added that apart from its direct equity investment made into the company, ICD is also bringing its affiliate, Bahrain-based global leasing technical partner Ijarah Management Company (IMC), to provide technical assistance and necessary tools for PMB Tijari. Since its establishment in November 2011, IMC has set up and operate more than seven leasing companies globally, including in CIS, MENA and West Africa countries.
Agreement with Uzbekistan firm, banks
Al-Aboodi also signed on June 25 a Line of Financing agreement with Uzbekleasing International Ltd. for $5 million during the 39th IDB Group Annual Meeting in Jeddah on June 25, 2014.
Since 2006, the ICD has signed financing agreements with eleven local financial institutions for a total of $133 million Line of Financing facility approved by the ICD Board of Directors for the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Uzbekistan. This demonstrates ICD’s firm commitment to develop the private sector in its member countries.
Al-Aboodi indicated that the success of implementing the Line of Financing facilities through Uzbek banks and the impact it had on developing the SMEs, has encouraged the ICD to extend further its financial support.
Also on June 25, the ICD) signed a Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with two commercial banks from the Republic of Uzbekistan, namely Ipak Yuli Bank and Asia Alliance Bank, during the Annual Meeting of IDB Group in Jeddah. This signing is part of ICD’s commitment to deepen the support of the SME sector in its member countries.
The signed MoUs will pave the way to expand current cooperation between ICD and the two banks to support development of Uzbekistan’s private sector.
The CEO of ICD, Khaled Al Aboodi said: “These MoUs come to strengthen the relation and the cooperation between ICD and the Uzbek banks in order to develop the private sector in general and the SMEs in particular”.
MoU with OPEC development fund
The ICD and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) signed an agreement for mutual cooperation and collaboration for the purpose of furthering the respective institutions’ mandate and objectives.
ICD's CEO & General Manager, Khaled Al-Aboodi, and OFID Director-General, Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, inked the Cooperation Agreement at Hilton Hotel in Jeddah at the sideline of the Islamic Development Bank Group 2014 Annual Meeting which also marked the 40th Anniversary of IDB. The signing was witnessed by the President of IDB, Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Ali. The Cooperation Agreement signifies an important milestone for ICD and OFID in jointly collaborating to carry joint operations, expand financial products and exchange information on modalities for enhanced and efficient interventions in the development of the private sector in their common countries of operations.
Speaking during ceremony, Al-Aboodi said the agreement will strengthen and deepen the ICD’s relationship with one of the global key developmental financial institution especially to promote cross-border investment in the ICD member countries and sharing of Islamic finance knowledge and expertise. The parties intend to leverage each other strengths and expertise especially to expand its Islamic finance activities in the ICD member countries.
“OFID has been a key partner of ICD where the two institutions have already worked together in transactions such as in Yemen and Pakistan. The signing of this agreement will further enhance the collaboration of the two institutions and increase the level of interventions towards the development of the private sector in ICD member countries,” said Al Aboodi. — SG