Under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Bandar bin Fahd Al Fahid, President of the Arab Tourism Organization (ATO) – Mr. Ayman Amin Sejiny, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), member of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDBG), and His Excellency Mr. Khaled Murad Reda – Assistant Secretary General of the ATO, signed a memorandum of understanding and joint cooperation to establish a general framework for the development of the tourism sector through financing tourism projects in the Arab region, with special emphasis on least developed Arab countries.
On this occasion, Mr. Ayman Sejiny declared that this memorandum fulfils the objectives of the ICD, aiming at enhancing and improving the structures and mechanisms of cooperation among the member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (including the Arab countries), as well as responding to their needs by extending financing for development projects and carrying out supporting activities that foster human development and institutional efficiency. The memorandum also tends to implement ICD strategy, which aims to finance investment projects with developmental impacts and to promote activities related to capacity-building, especially for the organizations in charge of promoting investment and trade in IDB member countries. Besides, the Memorandum seeks to build a strategic cooperation relationship between ICD and the ATO especially in the current circumstances, where the tourism sector has been severely affected by the repercussions of the spread of the Corona epidemic.
On his part, H.E. Mr. Al Fahid expressed his pleasure to sign this memorandum through which many programs and consultations will be presented that serve and support the tourism industry in the Arab world, with emphasis on less developed countries in terms of their public and private sectors and SMEs, as well as the investors in the tourism sector, who have been affected by the Corona pandemic. He also noted that the Memorandum includes an implementation plan for several activities and projects that will be designed in the near future, comprising issuing sukuk, financing SME projects, financing tourism projects of the ATO’s partners in Arab countries through financial and legal support, and benefiting from its strategic partners in the field of preparing advisory studies for financing projects. Moreover, the plan includes participating in investments in local and social funds directly or through countries and banks within a network of banks in Africa and the Arab World in order to develop local communities and create sustainable tourism.