EBRD supports international trade in West Bank and Gaza

Ramallah/PNN/

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the expansion of international trade by the West Bank and Gaza with a US$ 2 million trade facility to Cairo Amman Bank Palestine under the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP).

Under the agreement Cairo Amman Bank Palestine will become an issuing bank and will receive the EBRD’s trade finance guarantees to support the import and export activities of local companies.

Kamola Makhmudova, Senior Banker at the EBRD, said: “It is a privilege to sign the first EBRD trade finance line in the West Bank and Gaza.

As we welcome Cairo Amman Bank Palestine into our network we look forward to offering unique capacity-building projects and finance for international trade transactions”.

Dr Riyad Abu Shehadeh, Deputy Governor of the Palestine Monetary Authority, praised the signing of the agreement, saying: “It will contribute to the revitalisation of international trade and in return reflect positively on the economic situation in Palestine and on strengthening the role of the banking sector”.

Dr Abu Shehadeh also thanked Cairo Amman Bank for their active role in the banking sector and the EBRD for providing financing, technical assistance and capacity-building through experienced technical consultants.

Joseph Nesnas, Deputy General Manager and Regional Manager for Cairo Amman Bank Palestine, emphasised the importance of this trade facility in light of the significant and continuous progress in international trade and the diversity of goods exchanged between economies and regions.

He also noted the increasing need for legal entities or individuals to make use of the trade instruments that the Cairo Amman Bank Palestine provides among its various services to facilitate commercial finance operations. “It is our great pleasure to be the first bank in Palestine to sign the TFP agreement with the EBRD,” he added. “In addition, this agreement strengthens the cooperation between Cairo Amman Bank and the EBRD in the areas of training, transfer of knowledge and practical skills of employees.”

Mr. Joseph stated that “We are very proud that we have met the strict due diligence of EBRD which shows the bank’s commitment to maintain the highest standards of compliance. Moreover, it’s of our great pleasure to be the first in Palestine to sign the TFP agreement with EBRD”.

A technical assistance package, financed by the EBRD’s West Bank and Gaza Trust Fund, will support Cairo Amman Bank Palestine to strengthen its skillsets and competitiveness in trade finance.

Launched in 1999, the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme aims to promote foreign trade to, from and among the economies in which the EBRD invests. Through the programme, the EBRD provides guarantees to international confirming banks and short-term loans to selected banks and factoring companies for on-lending to local exporters, importers and distributors.

The TFP currently includes 97 partner banks in 27 economies, with limits exceeding €1.5 billion in total and more than 800 confirming banks worldwide.

In 2017, the EBRD Board of Governors approved the engagement of the Bank in the West Bank and Gaza. To date, two projects have been signed, including a credit line for small and medium-sized businesses to Cairo Amman Bank Palestine for €4.1 million and a €2.0 million loan to MedLabs Consultancy Group to expand its operations in the West Bank by opening 10 branches, offering better medical services to the local population.

Reopening its branches in Palestine in 1986, Cairo Amman Bank Palestine is a registered branch of Cairo Amman Bank Jordan and is a key player in the banking sector in the West Bank and Gaza. It offers a full range of banking services through a wide network of 21 branches including the Head Office in Ramallah.