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International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation and UNCTAD sign eTrade Assessment Agreement
Iraq to benefit from report into e-commerce potential

Geneva, Switzerland, 13 December 2018

​Jointly issued by UNCTAD and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation


The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and UNCTAD signed an agreement today to facilitate an assessment of the readiness of Iraq to engage in and benefit from e-commerce.

“I am very pleased to announce our formal partnership with the ITFC to carry out a Rapid eTrade Readiness Assessment for Iraq, under the Aid for Trade Initiative for the Arab States programme,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said.

“Thanks to the generous financial support provided by the ITFC, we will be carrying out the first ‘enhanced’ eTrade Readiness Assessment,” he said. “It will follow the standard methodology used for the past ones but will include a deep-dive into one or two key sectors where digitalization is particularly relevant in the context of the Iraqi economy.”

UNCTAD’s Rapid eTrade Readiness Assessments help developing countries take stock of their information and communication technology capabilities and formulate a strategy to overcome barriers and bottlenecks to the growth of e-commerce and digital trade.

ITFC chief executive officer Hani Salem Sonbol expressed his satisfaction on the ongoing successful partnership between ITFC and UNCTAD.

“Digitalization is now the future of trade and providing our member countries with the enablers to get the adequate environment for e-trade is now ITFC’s strategic focus,” he said. “With our partners, we will design integrated programmes that are tailored to meet the critical market needs of the member countries, as we are signing today for Iraq.”

The eTrade Readiness Assessment for Iraq project will have three immediate objectives:
• Enhance the understanding of Iraq’s overall readiness for e-commerce through stocktaking and surveys
• Increased national actions (policies and programmes) aimed at boosting e-commerce adoption in Iraq
• Enhanced access to technical cooperation available among eTrade for all partners and to investment opportunities by eTrade for all partner-members of Business for eTrade Development (B4ETD).

The UNCTAD-ITFC agreement was signed in the sidelines of UNCTAD’s Africa eCommerce Week taking place in Nairobi, Kenya, on 10-14 December 2018.

The ITFC is an autonomous entity within the Islamic Development Bank Group created with the purpose of advancing trade to improve the economic condition and livelihood of people across the Islamic world.

UNCTAD is the United Nations body mandated with helping developing countries to use trade, investment, finance, and technology as vehicles for inclusive and sustainable development.