President of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Dr. Ahmed Muhammad Ali today announced that IDB has appropriated more than U.S. $ 1.4 billion to finance trade among member states over its current fiscal year of 1419 H (April 1998 to April 1999) in line with a decision issued by the Eighth Summit Meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) held in Teheran last December. These appropriations include U.S. $ 830 million for imports and U.S. $ 200 million for exports, with U.S. $ 300 million to finance private sector operations within the consortium of financial institutions administered by IDB.
Dr. Ali stated that IDB over the next three years would focus on expansion of trade and investment, development of human resources and meeting basic needs in the fields of health, education and food. He went on to explain that the program for financing imports is in compliance with Islamic shariah, and that purchase and resale of goods is done in accordance with a policy of profit-and-loss sharing. Goods eligible for financing are those of a developmental nature, for example fertilizers, refined oil products, raw materials for industry, and building materials. This year IDB is scheduled to provide export financing for companies in some 32 countries. Dr. Ali also reported that since its establishment in 1987 the consortium of Islamic banks and financial institutions has financed more than 160 operations benefiting 18 member states and worth over U.S. $ 1.8 billion.