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ISLAMABAD: The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (IITFC) signed a 3-Year Framework Agreement for a cumulative amount of $4.5 billion with the Government of Pakistan in order to provide financing for the import of essential commodities such as crude oil, refined petroleum products, LNG, and urea, said a press release.

Within the context of its trade integrated solutions approach, the Framework Agreement also covers IITFC's support for trade-related technical assistance projects in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which will be selected jointly by both parties according to the national economic priorities and development plan of Pakistan.

The agreement will facilitate identification of other areas of cooperation at country and regional levels and to enhance and promote trade, trade capacities of relevant state authorities and financial institutions and trade cooperation in Pakistan.

The signing took place virtually, where Omar Ayub Khan, Minister of Economic Affairs witnessed the signing ceremony between Eng Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO, ITFC and Noor Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Pakistan.

The financing available through this facility will be utilized by Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Pak-Arab Refinery Ltd (PARCO), and Pakistan LNG Ltd (PLL) for import of crude oil, refined petroleum products and LNG during the years 2021-2023.

Referring to the agreement, Eng Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO, IITFC stated that this framework agreement reflects the importance of the longstanding cooperation between the ITFC and the Government of Pakistan.

"ITFC is continuously working closely with its member countries to meet their requirements by providing integrated solutions that include financing and capacity building tools that allows for maximising the development impact of ITFC interventions. We are delighted and we will continue to mobilise financial resources to support Pakistan in its endeavours to achieve its economic targets through the new Framework Agreement."

Omar Ayub thanked the IITFC for arranging this financing, which will help Pakistan in meeting its import requirements of oil and LNG and ease pressure on cash reserves of the country. The minister deeply commended the role and endeavours of Engr Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO, IITFC and his team for arranging this financing at a very challenging time. This agreement will further strengthen partnership between Pakistan and the ITFC.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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