The Aid for Trade Initiative for the Arab States (AfTIAS), launched by ITFC on behalf of the IDB Group in November 2013, is an exceptional opportunity for the Arab region not only to increase their intra-trade, but also to increase their participation in the world trade in pursuance of the decisions of the Arab Economic Summit’s decisions. AfTIAS is a “unique partnership” composed of the League of Arab States (LAS) Member Countries, five UN Agencies and seven donors working together to assist the Arab Countries to improve their trade capacity and to benefit from the expansion of global markets. These improvements are supporting economic growth and jobs creation.

We are halfway through the implementation and we believe that AfTIAS will help reduce the cost of trading and address the binding constraint to growth in the Arab region we are very appreciative of the role played by AfTIAS in helping LAS to strengthen its capacity to promote regional trade integration. The Initiative aims to translate the major trends and strategies to specific interventions to support the trade reform policy and support close economic relations in the region.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank ITFC for the assistance, important role and advice that have been given since the inception of AfTIAS, which would continue to provide a strong basis for moving the initiative forward and ensure that AfTIAS follows the path of similar initiatives in other regions.

- Dr. Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al-Tuwaijri

- Assistant Secretary General of the Arab League for Economic Affairs